Royalty and statesmen

The Prince, who is the regiment's colonel in chief, shares a mug of tea with soldiers in the back of an armoured vehicle
Photo: © Getty Images
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Back in London the Queen and Prince Philip were exploring a giant rugby ball which has been rolled out on the South Bank to promote New Zealand tourism
Photo: © Rex

Army cuppa for Charles as his mum explores interior of NZ rugby ball

26 NOVEMBER 2008
Sheltering from the chilly winds sweeping across Salisbury Plain in the back of an armoured truck the Prince of Wales enjoyed a steaming hot cuppa with men from the Mercian Regiment on Tuesday. The welcome tea-break came as the Prince spent the day at an Army training village.

Dressed in full uniform and beret the Prince, who's commander in chief of the regiment, was given a tour of Copehill Down in Wiltshire. The village is a purpose-built military facility to train soldiers in the skills of urban warfare.

The down-to-earth approach of the 60-year-old royal, who met soldiers wounded in Iraq during his visit and presented four men with medals for their long service, got the thumbs up from his military hosts. "He's very hands on very approachable and very friendly," Major Graham Crowe said.

While their son was catching up with Forces lads, back in London the Queen and Prince Philip were meeting with some other strapping 'boys' - members of the New Zealand rugby team. The couple had been invited along to tour a giant rugby ball, featuring a virtual tour of New Zealand, which had been rolled out near Tower Bridge.

There the monarch met players from the legendary All Blacks rugby team and New Zealand prime minister, John Key.


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