The Duchess of Edinburgh makes first outdoor visit to the Queen’s Yeomanry


The Duchess of Edinburgh wears a bulletproof vest during her visit to Germany 14062024 Credit: Ministry of Defence
The Duchess of Edinburgh wears a bulletproof vest during her visit to Germany (Photo: British Army)

British Army reservists received a special visit from the Duchess of Edinburgh during a major Army exercise in northern Germany.

As Royal Coroner of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY), the Duchess inspected the operational capabilities of Exercise Rhino Heart at Senelager, making her maiden visit to the regiment.

Sophie took over the role of Royal Colonel of the Royal Irish Regiment, previously held by the King, and was appointed the new Colonel of the Royal Irish Regiment in August last year.

The QOY is a light cavalry regiment within the Army Reserve based at Fenham Barracks, Newcastle, with companies based in York, Wigan and Chester.

The regiment plays a vital role within the 19th Light Brigade, the Army’s only all-reserve brigade.

Addressing her troops in Germany, she said: “It is very gratifying to have this opportunity to demonstrate that we have an extremely capable and reliable reserve force.”

“From what I’ve seen, the atmosphere is really positive and upbeat and everyone is getting a lot out of it. I wish the exercise every success.”

From left, Lieutenant Colonel Charles McCain Bremner, the Duchess of Edinburgh and Major West at a training ground in Germany 13062024 Credit: MOD
From left, Lieutenant Colonel Charles McCain Bremner, the Duchess of Edinburgh and Major West at a training ground in Germany (Photo: British Army)

The Duchess of Edinburgh’s visit to Germany highlighted the regiment’s working relationship with its NATO allies.

During her visit, the Duchess interacted with QOY and US National Guard reservists, highlighting the strong international connections and friendships within NATO reserve forces, according to the Army.

Exercise Rhinoheart is the largest deployment of the British Army Reserve since the Cold War.

More than 650 personnel, including soldiers from the US National Guard and the German Bundeswehr, are taking part in the exercise.

The operation is intended to demonstrate UK mobilisation capabilities, strengthen alliance relations through the active participation of reserve forces and enhance NATO’s deterrence posture.

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