Kent

Queen celebrates Corps of Royal Engineers' 300th anniversary

The Queen in Chatham Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Corps of Royal Engineers

The Queen has praised the work of the Royal Engineers on a visit to celebrate the Corps' 300th anniversary.

The "Sappers" Colonel-in-Chief inspected an honour guard and met soldiers from bases across the UK at Brompton Barracks in Chatham, Kent.

She also inspected some of the vehicles used by the Corps of Royal Engineers in operations around the world.

In a speech, the monarch paid tribute to the Royal Engineers' "extraordinary" work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Your ability to provide a flexible and adaptable force, quickly and without fuss, for the purposes of war fighting, peace building or disaster relief is world class," she told the troops.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen inspected an honour guard at Brompton Barracks in an open-top car
Image copyright PA
Image caption She toured the barracks as soldiers explained their roles in design and construction
Image caption The Queen was pictured with members of the Corps of Royal Engineers

Commanding officer Lt Col Sean Cunniff said it was wonderful for the Corps to host its Colonel-in-Chief at its headquarters as the culmination of its 300th anniversary commemorations.

"For me personally, to be in the right place at the right time, commanding the regiment when she's here and commanding the parade, is a remarkable privilege," he said.

Guests at the barracks included musician Jools Holland, who attended in his role as a deputy lieutenant of Kent.

The Queen also met three retired sappers, Dave Henson, Micky Yule and Nick Beighton, who competed in the Paralympics in Rio.

She met five-year-old black American Labrador Max, handled by L/Cpl Alex Farquhar, 25, from Rutland, who explained the dog's involvement in finding weapons and explosives.

"It was an honour to meet the Queen. She was clearly very interested," said L/Cpl Farquhar.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Her Majesty met five-year-old Max and his handler

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