Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

All in a day’s work as Charles meets a big kid, a Zulu warrior and a pony

The Prince was on the third day of his summer tour of Wales.

The Prince of Wales came face to face with two four-legged mascots and met a Zulu warrior during a visit to a military museum as part of the third day of his Welsh summer tour.

Charles was first introduced to Shenkin III, the Royal Welsh’s regimental goat, which was outside the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh with Goat Major Sergeant Mark Jackson to welcome him.

Sgt Jackson revealed that Shenkin is a fan of “Savoy cabbage and cheese and onion crisps”.

Charles was taken on a tour of the museum by retired Colonel Timothy Van-Rees, executive chair of trustees there, and shown a cabinet displaying Victoria Cross medals won by members of the regiment.

He was then introduced to Elliot Ngubane, a Zulu in traditional dress complete with battle shield and weapons, which they discussed, sharing a joke about how the young people could still run with the shields while the older fighters had to use the clubs.

Mr Ngubane, who works with Sibanye, which organises Zulu War re-enactments between South Africa and the United Kingdom, said Charles had “absolutely” been interested in the scheme and added: “It is a history that we want the young people to know about, not just to be like animals who don’t know where they come from.”

He said the organisation worked with museums and was planning reenactments at Cardiff Castle, in Brecon and in London.

Charles then studied displays about the regiment’s involvement in the First World War and on a Lottery-funded project being run by the museum, to digitise the letters of soldiers from the front sent in during the 1914-1918 conflict, Never Forget Your Welsh Heroes.

The Royal Welsh is Wales’s infantry regiment and was formed from the amalgamation of its predecessors The Royal Welch Fusiliers (23rd Foot) and The Royal Regiment of Wales (formerly the 24th, 41st and 69th Foot – and later the South Wales Borderers, Welch Regiment and Monmouthshire Regiment).

Mr Van-Rees said he spoke to Charles about plans to expand the museum into the upper floors of its building using Heritage Lottery cash and fundraising, allowing them to have exhibits dedicated to the historic regiments.

The Royal Welsh was formed in 2006 but its history started in 1689 when the 23rd and 24th Regiments of Foot were first raised.

It has been involved in many significant events in British military history, including the Battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War.

Charles jokes with troops during a visit to the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh (Ben Birchall/PA)

Charles petted Welsh mountain pony Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones, which is mascot of the Dragoon Guards, as he left the museum and went to speak to school children learning about the regiment’s history, as well as families who have donated letters to the museum, and military families.

Reservists John and Jackie Symmons were there with their children and said: “The kids wanted to see him so we dragged them out of school.”

Their son Charles, got the chance to tell the Prince that they shared the same name.


From Belfast Telegraph