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Prince Charles and the Queen lead support for returning troops

April 27, 2008
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When Prince Harry stepped off a plane after a tour of duty in Afghanistan his father, Prince Charles, breathed a huge sigh of relief. And now the royal family, who also has William serving in the Forces, has stepped up its support for the unsung heroes of the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts.

Clarence House has confirmed Prince Charles held a private audience with Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the most senior officer in the Armed Forces, to discuss the issue.

"The Prince is concerned about the welfare of all servicemen and women and their families," a statement revealed.

Charles' meeting follows expressions of disquiet from the Queen about the number of servicemen returning from war who end up sleeping rough or struggling to find work. "The Queen is concerned as a naval daughter, naval wife, and grandmother of two serving Army officers," a royal source has been quoted as saying.

On May 5 the family will give their most public show of support for British troops when the private grounds of Windsor Castle are thrown open for a new military spectacular - the 'A Heroes Welcome' Royal Tattoo.

Intended as a national opportunity to recognise the efforts of British servicemen, the three-day military musical spectacular is expected to draw 20,000 visitors and raise funds for servicemen. It will take place against a backdrop of the floodlit Castle and feature units which have seen action in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with military displays and massed bands.

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Photo: ©
The Prince of Wales, seen here with his two Household Cavalry officer sons, has held a meeting with the top brass to express his family's concerns for soldiers coming home from the frontlinePhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
As a naval daughter, naval wife, and grandmother of two serving Army officers, the Queen - pictured inspecting grandson Harry on his passing out parade - is reportedly keen to show support for British troops. She has given permission for a special version of the Royal Tattoo - entitled 'A Heroes Welcome' - to be held next month in the private grounds of Windsor Castle Photo: © Getty Images

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