“It was a great privilege to be able to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Parliament last Tuesday, and together with the Prime Minister, Lord Speaker, and Mr Speaker to witness the magnificent spectacle of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines ‘beating retreat’ in Speaker’s Court at the heart of the Palace of Westminster, followed by a reception in Mr Speaker’s State Apartments”, said North Wiltshire MP James Gray who arranged the event in his role as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Services.
“It is right that we remember Britain’s great victory in the Falklands 40 years ago, removing the last invader of British Overseas Territory.”
Veterans of the conflict and representatives of the Falkland Islands Government also attended the event, alongside MPs and Peers with an interest in the Falklands.
Her Royal Highness was welcomed to Parliament by Black Rod, and at the reception was delighted to meet many of the veterans, including Major General Julian Thompson, the former Royal Marines officer, who commanded 3 Commando Brigade during the conflict.
Two 105mm Light Guns that fired in action during the conflict in support of British ground troops were placed either side of the front door to Speaker’s House. The Guns now belong to the Honourable Artillery Company and are used for firing gun salutes at the Tower of London, most recently firing a 102-round Royal Gun Salute to mark the Platinum Jubilee, and kindly lent for the occasion. James Gray is a longstanding member of the Honourable Artillery Company, in which he served as a private soldier for 7 years.