Prince of Wales meets Zulu during visit to regimental museum

By Ariane Brumwell in Local People

The Prince of Wales visited the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh on Tuesday during his tour of Wales.

Prince Charles, who previously served in the armed forces, used his time in Brecon to speak to military families and to learn more about the ’Never Forget Your Welsh Heroes’ campaign.

He was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Powys, Dame Shân Legge-Bourke, the Chairman of the Executive of the Museum, (retired) Colonel Timothy Van Rees, the museum curator, Richard Davies, and the regimental mountain goat, Shenkin.

Never Forget Your Welsh Heroes is an expanding digital archive project looking to preserve written accounts of Welsh soldiers including letters, diaries, postcards and photographs.

When asked about how Prince Charles reacted to the campaign, retired Colonel Timothy Van Rees said: "Very favourably, very encouraged by what is going on here because it is digitalising that important paper correspondence from the second world war, without which would be completely lost."

Along with the Anderson shelter and Victoria Cross medals, the prince experienced the Zulu Exhibit with Elliot Nigubane from South Africa who greeted the prince in Zulu battle clothes, and spoke about their historic battle techniques.

The Zulus battled with soldiers from the Brecon-based 24th Foot Regiment in the Anglo-Zulu Wars, as famously depicted in the film Zulu starring Michael Caine which featured the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.. One of the most famous battles took place at Rorke’s Drift.

Speaking to the Prince, Elliot said: "Well the Zulus had big shields, used to protect your body. It was used by the young people who could still run and they would also use spears. The older people would use clubs and just finish beat them at the end."

The crowd of Brecon based military families contained older and newer soldiers, as well as cadets.

W01 (BM) Casson-Smith, who is the Band Master of the Band of the Prince of Wales Division from St Athens, said: "It was really gratifying, a real pleasure. It was nice to see him out in Brecon supporting the Welsh Brigade."

Crowd Member, Mrs Charlotte Millington, said: "I am the mother of the Lord Lieutenant of the Cadets, Toby Millington, who opened the car door for Prince Charles along with Erin Bishop. It was very nice. It was good to see him in Wales and visiting Brecon, and he looked very well."

Prince Charles previously served as an Admiral in the Royal Navy, a General in the Army and as an Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

Since then, the Prince has always retained his interest in the armed forces. Colonel Van Rees said: "I’ve met him on many occasions and he always looks for people wearing the tie of the Royal Welsh, which he was wearing himself on the tour yesterday."