The Royal Family have long had close ties to the Armed Forces, from serving among its ranks themselves – like Prince Harry’s Army career and Prince William’s work as an RAF Search and Rescue Pilot – to taking on honorary roles and patronages. Now, the Duchess of Cambridge has shone a light on the work of the Armed Forces herself, after getting involved with activities at a British Army base.
To mark Armed Forces Day on June 25, Kensington Palace released a series of images of Kate Middleton, showing the royal during a hands-on visit to the Pirbright Training Academy last year. In the pictures, Middleton is shown wearing camouflage as she inspects equipment, and donning a helmet as part of a training exercise. She can also be seen meeting serving personnel and recruits, chatting animatedly as she’s taken on a tour of the Academy.
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In an accompanying message posted to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s social media accounts, Kate wrote: “Today on Armed Forces Day, William and I would like to pay tribute to the brave men and women, past and present, serving in all of our armed forces, at sea, on land and in the air, here in the UK and around the world. Thank you for all you and your families sacrifice to keep us safe.”
“Last year, I was honored to spend time with the @BritishArmy to see how they train serving personnel and new recruits. It was wonderful to see first-hand the many important and varied roles the military play day in, day out to protect us all, and I look forward to discovering more about the @RoyalNavy and @RoyalAirForceUK in due course.” She signed the personal message, ‘C’ for Catherine.
This is not the first time the Duchess has shown her interest in the Armed Forces, having visited a Defense Medical Rehabilitation centre in 2020 with Prince William, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Kate has also been touted as a possible replacement for Prince Andrew’s former role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – an honor that has now been returned to the Queen, after the Duke of York stepped back from royal duties in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. If the Duchess is appointed to the post, she will become the second-ever female colonel throughout the regiment’s history.
Originally published in Tatler.com