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How Queen Camilla honours late father with new role

Queen Camilla has become the colonel-in-chief of the Royal Lancers


Queen Camilla holding an umbrella© Chris Jackson
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
June 8, 2023
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Queen Camilla's latest role with a special significance for her, as she was able to honour her late father by becoming the colonel-in-chief of the Royal Lancers, a regiment that he served in.

The Queen's father, Bruce Shand, served as a lieutenant for the 12th Lancers and fought in World War II. He originally served in France, and helped to organise the evacuation from Dunkirk and later fought in North Africa during the war. In 1942, Bruce was captured by German forces and he was held as a prisoner of war in Oflag IX-A/H, located near Spangenberg Castle for the rest of the war.

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His life of service never left him, and speaking to a veteran after her appointment, Camilla told him that her father, who passed away in 2006, had longed for her to be associated with his old troop.

She told Michael de Burgh, 99: "My father just longed for me to be associated with this regiment and here I am." She also presented the war veteran with the Buchan Medal to commemorate his support for the regiment.

Queen Camilla speaking with an old man in a wheelchair© WPA Pool
Camilla is the now the colonel-in-chief of the 12th Lancers

Michael will be celebrating his 100th birthday on 11 June and ahead of his own centenary, Camilla gifted him with Previous Engagements, her father's memoirs of his time as a serviceman, as well as cutting a chocolate birthday cake. "Here's a copy of my papa's book which I believe you haven't read – now you’ve got it," she told him.

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The 12th Lancers were only formed back in 2015 when the the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and The Queen’s Royal Lancers were amalgamated. After their formation, they had the words 'Queen Elizabeths' Own' added to them in honour of their association with the late Queen and Queen Mother.

Queen Camilla and an old man cutting into a cake with white icing© WPA Pool
Camilla and Michael cut a birthday cake

Camilla, who was crowned alongside her husband King Charles last month, recently picked up another honour, as she became an additional member of the New Zealand Order of Merit because of her services to the country.

All was revealed in the the King's Birthday and Coronation Honours List 2023, which was published by the New Zealand government on Monday. Also on the special list of 182 honours is former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is set to be Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Bruce Shand walking with Queen Camilla© Anwar Hussein
Bruce served in the regiment

In 2019, Charles and Camilla visited New Zealand as part of an official tour. The trip included three public walks which gave New Zealanders the chance to greet the royals in person. While there, the couple visited a winery and also experienced a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.

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The King's late mother had close ties to New Zealand and she visited the country ten times during her platinum reign. Addressing the nation in 1953, the then-monarch said: "I want to show that the Crown is not merely an abstract symbol of our unity but a personal and living bond between you and me."

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