Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Prince William Grieves for Royal Gurkha

PRINCE WILLIAM has said he is "deeply saddened" by the death in Afghanistan of his platoon commander at Sandhurst, Major Alexis Roberts, 32, of The Royal Gurkha Rifles. The prince described the soldier as a "good friend" and said his thoughts and prayers were with Major Roberts' wife and two young daughters. The Ministry of Defence said Major Roberts died as a result of an improvised explosive device on Thursday.

The Royal Gurkha Rifles is a unique regiment of the British Army in that it recruits Gurkhas from Nepal, which is a nation independent of the United Kingdom and not a member of the Commonwealth (Read: Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service). They are considered to be some of the finest soldiers in the world, as is evidenced by the high regard they are held in for both their fighting skill, and their smartness of turnout on parade. Their standard of drill is considered to be on a par with that of the Foot Guards, so much so that on many occasions the regiment has mounted the guard at Buckingham Palace. The Regiment is commanded by both British Officers, who are trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and by Queens Gurkha officers who commission from the ranks. The British Officers all complete language training in Nepal.

The Kukri or Khukuri is a heavy, curved Nepalese knife used as both tool and weapon. It is also a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of Gurkha fighters. It is known to most as simply the "Gurkha knife".

Photo Left: The Queen's Truncheon: By tradition, rifle regiments do not carry colours; this goes back to their formation, when they were used as skirmishers and sharpshooters.

While individual units may have had banners or pennants to distinguish themselves from other units, regiments as a whole never needed a full stand of Colours.

Today, the two rifle regiments in the British Army, The Rifles and the Royal Gurkha Rifles carry their battle honours on their drums, while the Green Jackets also have theirs inscribed on their cap badge. In place of a Regimental Colour, the Gurkhas carry the Queen's Truncheon.

Honorary Lieutenant Tulbahadur Pun, VC, a former Gurkha from Nepal who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the Second World War, was granted on exceptional grounds, a settlement visa to enable him to receive urgent medical treatment in the UK on 4 July 2007, where he was officially welcomed by members of the Gurkha regiment. In total, 13 Gurkhas have been awarded the VC.