As Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Defence Forces – The Commander-in-Chief, even though the Government of the day takes the decisions over the Britain’s Forces. The entire Royal Family has enjoyed a special and a working relationship with the Royal Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The Queen herself during the Second World War as Princess Elizabeth then trained with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
The Queen is responsible for bestowing honours and medals and in 2009 gave her name to create a new award, the Elizabeth Cross, to provide national recognition for the families of the heroic personnel who have died on operations like Afghanistan or as a result of an act of terrorism. To mark the 60 year reign this year a special Diamond Jubilee Medal is being awarded to personnel with 5 years’ service or more.
The Parade started from Windsor Castle through the Windsor Town Centre and onto Home Park. Forces from the Royal Navy ships, submarines, aircraft carriers and the Royal Marines were followed by the Army and then joined by the Royal Air Force, each service led by their own band, including the Royal Gurkha Rifles.
The Chaplains of the tri-forces, the Rev. Scott Brown QHC as the Chaplain of the Fleet, the Rev. Jonathan Woodlouse QHC as the Chaplain General of the Army and the Ven. Air Vice Marshal Ray Pentland as the Chaplain-in-Chief Royal Air Force did the bidding and prayers and the Blessing.
The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards spoke warmly of her Majesty’s leadership to the Defence Forces and the Queen responded by acknowledging the highly disciplined service the Forces have given to the country.
A stupendous Flypast show of the various helicopters and aircrafts followed which ended with the Nine Red Arrows.
This unique, once in our lifetime, muster also signifies from what we have seen in recent times of conflict across the world where Britain goes out to defend the weak for righteousness that the UK remains a first rate world power.
Anil Bhanot OBE
Hindu Religious Advisor to the MOD
Pictures above in order are
The Head Chaplains of the Tri-Service
The Chief of Defense Staff
The Red Arrows
Anil Bhanot with the Minister for Procuration at MOD
Anil with the Muslim Religious Advisor Judge Khurshid Drabu CBE
Anil with Rev. Scott Brown and the Catholic Bishop for MOD
The Royal Gurkha Rifles Band