Prince of Wales welcomed by Australia's Federation Guard
11 April 2018
Australia's Federation Guard (AFG) welcomed Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell with a Royal Guard in honour of their arrival in Australia for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The Royal couple were greeted at Brisbane's Old Government House by a 21 Gun Salute and welcomed by the Queen's representative in Australia, His Excellency the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Hundreds of spectators braved the rain to catch a glimpse of Prince Charles as he inspected the Guard alongside AFG Guard Commander, Navy officer Lieutenant Commander Shannon Martin.
Lieutenant Commander Martin said emotions were running high as Guard members stood ready to receive the Royal party on the dais in full ceremonial dress.
"This is a career highlight for many of the Guard members. Naturally there's a little bit of nervousness but also an air of excitement," Lieutenant Commander Martin said.
"Our members are looking forward to the opportunity to potentially meet Prince Charles as he walks alongside and inspects the Guard."
As Australia's permanent military ceremonial unit, the AFG regularly provides a Royal Guard of Honour for visiting dignitaries, however actual Royal visits are far and few between.
Royal Australian Air Force Guard member, Corporal Ingrid Kogler noted that the prefix 'Royal' when referring to a Guard of Honour indicates the size of the Guard and "not necessarily the presence of a Royal".
To prepare for the Prince's 16th visit to Australia, Corporal Kogler said preparation included extensive rehearsals as well as etiquette training.
"Being a part of a Royal Guard is a unique opportunity not everybody in Defence gets to do," Corporal Kogler said.
"We've done weeks of lead-up training to be here today and have even received training on how to address members of the Royal family correctly should he [Prince Charles] happen to speak to us," she said.
The 140 AFG personnel that travelled to Queensland to perform the Guard were supported by an Australian Army band and Gunners from the 1st Regiment artillery unit.
Lieutenant Commander Martin said AFG's ceremonial support to the 2018 Commonwealth Games is just one aspect of military ceremonial support being provided by the ADF.
With Anzac Day fast approaching, AFG will return to Canberra to prepare while an Australian Army Ceremonial Team made up of soldiers from the 7th Combat Brigade will support Team Welcoming Ceremonies and medal presentations.