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Queen Camilla left confused by surprising moment during official visit

King Charles's wife was a big hit with the Grenadier Guards


queen camilla grenadier guards© Photo: Getty Images
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
February 1, 2023
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Queen Consort Camilla delighted Grenadier Guards on Thursday as she visited them for the first time since becoming colonel.

Camilla was in high spirits as she presented medals to ten soldiers – handpicked for their exceptional service in Iraq last year – as well as two soldiers being honoured for their length of stay.

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The visit took place at Lille Barracks in Aldershot in Hampshire. Camilla became colonel of the Grenadier Guards – famed for wearing bearskin hats – in December. She took over the role from her late father-in-law, Prince Philip.

King Charles's wife, wearing a red dress and black boots, was greeted upon her arrival by Major General James Bowder, Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Johnson, Major James Gatehouse and Warrant Officer Dean Bailey.

queen camilla reception grenadier guards© Photo: Getty Images

Camilla was in high spirits during her visit to Aldershot

She was then briefed in private by Lt Col Johnson in the officers' mess on the battalion's recent deployments and plans for the next year.

A short time later, Camilla spoke to around 30 officers at a small reception where Lt Col Johnson, the commanding officer, presented a champagne toast to celebrate her first visit.

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It was then time for photos – which led to some confusion for Camilla. As the group gathered on the steps of the officers' mess, she noticed two soldiers who had positioned themselves on the floor.

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She was confused when two soliders took position on the floor

They were recreating a famous photo taken with the late Prince Philip when he was colonel.

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Second Lieutenant Archie Deninson-Smith, 24, told PA: "She was just asking if I was okay and then she asked why the two junior officers were on the floor. It was a nod to recreating that picture. We explained why it was."

prince philio grenadier guards© Photo: Getty Images

It was a nod to a previous photo taken with Prince Philip

Camilla proved to be a big hit on her visit. Lance Corporal Jamie McCulloch, 34 – who was one of those given a medal by Camilla, told PA: "It was very special as it is the first time I have met any member of the royal family. She was very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in who we were, and she met my parents which was very kind of her.

"She said 'thank you for what you do', your service and for doing a good job.

queen camilla grenadier guards 1z© Photo: Getty Images

Camilla proved to be a big hit with the Guards

"They very kindly put forward people who had done a very good job out there. It was interesting and actually pretty steady in Iraq and we got to see Irbil.

"My parents Gill and Nick seem very proud and are very happy to be here. They were very pleased that Camilla spoke to them and she seemed very interested in where they are from and what they do."

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