Friday, 21 October 2011

Queen hails the Royal Military College at Duntroon as colours presented

Queen hails the Royal Military College at Duntroon as colours presented
The Queen has presented new royal colours to the Royal Military College (RMC) at Duntroon, for the fourth time in her reign.

Her Majesty said she was pleased to present the colours to RMC in its 100th anniversary year.

"The college has held an esteemed position in the training of Australian officers for war and peace time service over the past 100 years," she told cadets, college staff, military chiefs and families at the RMC parade ground in Canberra today.

"The dedicated and outstanding service your graduates have provided to the nation is a milestone to be celebrated."

The RMC was founded in 1911 and is Australia's equivalent of Sandhurst in Britain and West Point in the US, training army officer cadets who graduate as lieutenants.

The Queen, 85, said this was the fourth time she had presented RMC with a new colour.

"On each occasion I have been most impressed with the discipline and determination of the college's graduates, many of whom have gone on to serve their nation with distinction on operations around the world, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances.

"Many have give their lives in defence of their country and their values."

The Queen, who was wearing an electric-blue dress, coat and hat by Angela Kelly, said the presentation of colours was a special opportunity to recognise past achievements, to give thanks for commitment and loyalty and express confidence in the future.

The current RMC year comprises 400 cadets, including 23 international students from 11 countries.

Including staff and the RMC band, there were more than 500 personal on parade for Her Majesty, who was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

After the parade the Queen will meet Staff Cadet Harriet Pembroke, the grand daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur "Bushy" Pembroke, to whom Her Majesty presented the Military Cross back in 1953.

The Brisbane-born Lt-Col Pembroke, a RMC graduate, was awarded the cross for bravery while commanding a platoon in the Korean War against Hill 317 during the battle of Maryang San in October 1951.

It was one of two significant battles involving Australian personnel during the war.

The RMC received its first royal colours from the Queen's father, King George VI, in 1927.

Her Majesty presented her own colours to RMC in 1957, 1970 and 1988.

Colours, or standards, are made of silk and fulfil a significant role in a military unit.

Historically, they have been the rallying point for soldiers on the battlefield.

By tradition, the old colours are laid up in a place regarded as sacred, and in this case that will be in the RMC chapel.

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