Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG meets Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
16 November 2011
Victoria Cross and Medal for Gallantry recipient, Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG yesterday attended an audience with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace in London.
Corporal Roberts-Smith, a member of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment who was invested with Australia’s highest military award, the Victoria Cross, in January of this year, said being granted an audience with Her Majesty The Queen was a great honour.
“It is a tremendous honour to meet Her Majesty The Queen and an experience I will never forget,” Corporal Roberts-Smith said.
“I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity to represent my mates who I fought alongside in Afghanistan, the Australian Defence Force and my country on this very special occasion.”
Corporal Roberts-Smith said he discussed with The Queen the battle which saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, as well as the work being carried out by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
“Her Majesty speaks to quite a lot of soldiers, so she was interested in Afghanistan and it was a great opportunity for me to tell her about what everyone else in my patrol did that day, as opposed to just myself,” Corporal Roberts-Smith said.
“We also spoke about the work being done by Australian troops in Afghanistan and Her Majesty obviously recognises that Australian soldiers are very good at what they do and is happy with the progress being made.”
In the lead up to his audience with The Queen, Corporal Roberts-Smith attended the Remembrance Day Service at the Australian War Memorial in London, before joining British Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, GC to lay a wreath on Remembrance Day at the Victoria Cross and George Cross Memorial at Westminster Abbey.
In the coming days he will visit battlefields in France and Belgium where Australian soldiers were killed during the First and Second World Wars.
Imagery of the audience is available through the Press Association (www.paphotos.com or tel: +44 (0) 1158 447 447) which operate a pool arrangement for a range of The Queen’s audiences.
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