Prince Charles presents Parachute Regiment with new colours

Prince Charles dons military dress to present new colours to the Parachute Regiment – as Clarence House shares throwback snaps of his first parachute drop aged 23

  • Prince Charles is presenting New Colours to the Parachute Regiment today 
  • He donned military uniform for the visit to Merville Barracks, Colchester 
  • Clarence House this morning shared photos of Charles’ RAF attachment
  • The prince made his first parachute drop into Studland Bay, Dorset, aged 23  

Prince Charles donned military dress to present new colours to the Parachute Regiment today. 

Charles, 73, who has been Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment since 1977, looked smart in his tropical service dress and the regiment’s maroon beret for the visit to Merville Barracks, Colchester, this morning. 

The royal was on hand to present the regiment with new regimental flags, or ‘colours’, and inspected the troops during the visit.  

Charles, 73, who has been Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment since 1977, donned his tropical service dress and the regiment’s maroon beret for the visit to Merville Barracks, Colchester

To mark the occasion the Clarence House Instagram account shared photos from Prince Charles’s first parachute drop at the age of 23

Whilst training as a jet pilot during a four-month attachment with the RAF in 1971, His Royal Highness made his first parachute drop from an Andover into Studland Bay, Dorset, pictured

Charles also watched a display by the Red Devils.  

To mark the occasion the Clarence House Instagram account shared photos from Prince Charles’s first parachute drop at the age of 23. 

Whilst training as a jet pilot during a four-month attachment with the RAF in 1971, His Royal Highness made his first parachute drop from an Andover into Studland Bay, Dorset. 

Photos show the young prince strapping himself in ahead of the flight.   

During the visit Prince Charles watched a display by the Red Devils (pictured, watching) 


Prince Charles looked up in awe as the Red Devils zoomed past overhead during the visit

Prince Charles presenting the Parachute Regiment with their new colours during the event 

Prince Charles inspects the front rank of representatives from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Parachute Regiment

Prince Charles spoke to the Red Devils during the visit to Merville Barracks on Tuesday

Charles inspects the front rank of representatives from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Parachute Regiment

The Parachute Regiment Mascot, a Shetland pony named Pegasus, also took part in the event


Prince Charles delivered a speech during the ceremony thanking the regiment for their serivce

Prince Charles strode ahead in his military uniform as he inspected the front rank of troops

Upon his appointment as Colonel in Chief of The Parachute Regiment in 1977, The Prince requested to join a Parachute Training Course at RAF Brize Norton in 1978.

In the decades since Charles has regularly visits the Regiment and takes personal interest in supporting bereaved families and the wounded. 

It comes after it was reported Prince Charles is refusing to give Prince Edward the title of Duke of Edinburgh following the death of Prince Philip despite his younger brother being tipped to inherit it more than 20 years ago. 

Since being appointed to the role, His Royal Highness regularly visits the Regiment and takes personal interest in supporting bereaved families and the wounded. Pictured, Charles today


Prince Charles looked smart in his tropical military dress as he inspected the troops today

The royal, who takes a personal interest in the regiment, inspecting the troops at the barracks


Charles wore his military medals displayed proudly on his chest for the visit to the barracks

Prince Charles, 73, made the solo visit to Merville Barracks early on Tuesday morning

The dukedom was expected to be passed to Edward after Buckingham Palace announced in 1999 that he would succeed his father ‘in due course’ with both his parents’ blessing. 

He was instead granted the Earl of Wessex title by the Queen after his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones that same year. 

But upon Prince Philip’s death in April this year at age 99 the title immediately reverted to Philip’s eldest son, Charles, in line with royal tradition set out in the Letters Patent issued when George VI gave Philip the title in 1947.

It is thought that Charles is now deciding whether to grant the title to Edward, another member of his family, or leave it in abeyance. 

He is said to be considering breaking the 1999 pledge as he assesses his own future, The Sunday Times has said. 

Prince Charles saluted the troops as they paraded past him during today’s event 

Prince Charles presented the Paras with New Colours during the ceremony today

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