TROOPS at Chepstow's Beachley Barracks welcomed a royal visitor this week, as the Duchess of Cornwall dropped in.

The Duchess, who took over as Colonel-in-Chief from the Duke of Edinburgh earlier this year, visited infantry regiment The Rifles on Monday.

Wearing a Rifles green coat and a bugle brooch, the Duchess was greeted with a socially distanced special royal fanfare on arrival.

She met Riflemen who have recently completed their initial training course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire, and are undertaking further training at Beachley Barracks before they join their battalions.

The Duchess also attended an outdoor reception, meeting soldiers and their families.

Over the past few months, The 1st Battalion, The Rifles has been deployed throughout Wales supporting the fight against coronavirus.

They installed hospital beds in the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff, deployed ambulance drivers to support the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, and acted as Covid-19 testing teams throughout Wales.

The Duchess said: “It’s my first time here and I am very much looking forward to it.”

As she arrived, eight buglers played a specially composed fanfare called The Duchess to commemorate her new role.

South Wales Argus:

The Duchess of Cornwall arrives at Beachley Barracks. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA

Corporal Edward MacIntyre, 30, who wrote the piece, said he decided to compose it when he heard Prince Charles' wife was taking over the senior role from her father-in-law.

The duchess, whose late father, Major Bruce Shand, served with the 12th Lancers during World War Two, said she was honoured by the tribute.


South Wales Argus:

The Duchess of Cornwall at Beachley Barracks. Picture: Chris Jackson/PA

In a short speech, the Duchess said: “Can I say how this is my first visit to another Rifles battalion since I’ve become Colonel-in-Chief so I just wanted to say how pleased I am to meet all of you today and to hear about what you’ve been doing and to hear what a wonderful job you’ve been doing throughout Covid.

“It’s been a huge pleasure to meet you and I hope I’ll be back again very soon.”

She wished troops who have returned from the Falklands a well-deserved rest, adding: “Onwards and upwards.”