Royal Visit on County Day

Royal Visit on County Day

23 June 2022

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

More than 30 cadets supported the first ever Cambridgeshire County Day, the highlight of which was a visit from their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The County Day was an opportunity to celebrate the best of the County, its people, businesses, charities and other organisations.

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The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to our cadets

Community engagement is a priority for our Cadets; we want everyone to see what great young people we have in our ranks, and demonstrate the positive impact the ACF has on our society. Cambridgeshire County Day was a perfect opportunity for us to showcase our cadets, promote what we do, and provide assistance to other organisations and members of the public.

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Cadets at the recruitment stand.

The work for the cadets began the previous day when they arrived at the showground (Newmarket Racecourse) to make themselves as useful as possible, including giving directions, assembling equipment and moving things around to help the other organisations present. On the day itself, cadets manned an ACF recruiting stand, gave directions to the public, manned entrances checking wristbands, and helped others to pack up and move their equipment at the end. There was also time for them to check out the other stands and get an ice cream!

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Our Cadets prepare for the Royal visit

The most exciting event of the day was the visit by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Our cadets and Uniformed Public Services students from Cambridge Regional College formed up to greet the Royal visitors on their arrival at the event, including our Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, Cadet Sgt Bowler-Legate. The Duke and Duchess arrived in a convoy of vehicles and were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM. The Duchess then turned to our cadets and stopped to speak to several of them, with the Duke speaking to the CRC students.

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The Duke & Duchess with our cadets & CRC students

Staff Cadet RSM Charlie Rice said: ‘It was great to see the cadet’s excitement at having the opportunity to meet the Duke and Duchess, which was clearly expressed by all of them, and it’s something I know they will remember for a long time. Our cadets have been really professional, really well turned out, polite and helpful. I have really enjoyed it as well, its been something different, like a garden party on steroids!’

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The Duke speaks to CRC students.

Our Commandant, Colonel Lesley Deacon, spoke to BBC radio and used the opportunity to speak about the many positive benefits of the cadet force, saying; 'we support young adults with all the skills they need in life, to go out into the big wide world'. You can listen to her interview at: at 41.00

Deputy Lieutenant R.G.H Herriot, OBE, DL, said to our Commandant; 'My thanks to all the Cadets who attended Cambridgeshire County Day as volunteers. The Cadets were a brilliant asset and without them I doubt we would have succeeded in our plans. All your Cadets were a credit to Cambridgeshire ACF and it was a pleasure working with them and their instructors. I was delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were able to speak to some of them . Again my thanks to you for allowing them to take part and for the support they provided.'

Text by SI Doug Stuart with thanks to Cdt RSM Charlie Rice and SMI Lee Harris.

Pictures by SI Doug Stuart