The Queen has today presented a new standard to the Royal Tank Regiment in a ceremony in St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle.
The ceremony started with The Queen meeting Major General John Patterson, the Regiment’s Colonel Commandant. The Royal Tank Regiment performed a Royal Salute and the National Anthem as Her Majesty entered the hall, after which the new standard was consecrated by the Chaplain General and the Regimental Chaplain.
The Royal Tank Regiment was established in the First World War; The Queen touched upon this during her short address as the said: “Since the Regiment’s birth, only the Monarch has presented a new standard and so now, a century later, I take great pleasure in presenting you with your new standard today.”
The Royal Tank Regiment is the oldest tank unit in the world; the Regiment’s first Colonel-in-Chief, King George V – Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather – visited the trials of early tanks in Elvedon, Suffolk, in July 1916. In 1923, he bestowed the title ‘Royal’ to the Tank Corps, as it was previously known; the unit then became the Royal Tank Regiment in 1939.
The Queen, who turned 92 on 21st April, and celebrated with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, praised the hard work of the regiment throughout the century during the ceremony today. Her majesty considered that: “Of course much has changed since 1916. Technology has evolved and the regiment with it.”
However, The Queen touchingly resolved that the regiment’s “reputation for hard work and ingenuity endures.”
The soldiers and officers, many of whom were joined by their partners, where then told by their Colonel-in-Chief: “The bond within tank crews, within squadrons and within the regiment remains undiminished.”
Today marked the fourth occasion upon which Her Majesty has presented a new standard to the Royal Tank Regiment. The first presentation took place at Buckingham Palace in October 1960. Since then, the Monarch has presented new standards to the Regiment in 1985 in Sennelager, Germany, and in 2008 at Buckingham Palace.
Standards have evolved from the banners of the Knights of the Middle Ages. They acted as both a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the Commander. Today a standard has a great symbolic view for the regiment.
The new standard presented today has been emblazoned with the regiment’s crest and battle honours (where they have been deployed).
The Queen is currently holding Easter Court at Windsor Castle, after a busy week of CHOGM events; on Monday Her Majesty was seen riding whilst most royal watchers’ eyes were on the Lindo Wing doors in Paddington, to get the first glimpse of her sixth great-grandchild.