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Royal Navy provide ceremonial backdrop as Queen opens the Welsh Parliament

Guard of Honour Welsh Parliament opening
14 October 2021
SAILORS and Royal Marines today provided the military backdrop and accompaniment as Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the sixth session of the Welsh Parliament, the Senedd Cymru.

Accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall she was greeted by a Royal Navy Guard of Honour as she approached the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay while the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth provided the appropriate soundtrack.

Earlier, upon arrival at Cardiff railway station, Her Majesty was greeted by a 21-gun Royal Salute fired at the Pierhead by 104 Regiment (V) Royal Artillery as she stepped off the Royal Train, while sailors, soldiers and airmen formed a tri-Service Step-Lining Party.

Sailors from Cardiff’s own Royal Navy Reserve Unit, HMS Cambria – re-homed in their freshly rededicated headquarters in Cardiff Bay – were among the military personnel taking part.

“I volunteered after it was advertised by the unit, and it was very exciting – a unique opportunity,” said Able Seaman Emily Boycott, who was on the door of the Senedd building for the Queen’s arrival.

The seaman specialist added: “During my four years with HMS Cambria here in Cardiff this is the biggest and most exciting thing I’ve ever done, I’m sure it’s up there with one of the best things I’ve been involved with.”

Able Seaman Isobel Stead said she was proud and excited to be involved with the state occasion.  

“It’s not every day you get an opportunity like this,” she continued. “I’ve been a reservist since October 2019, and I was aware that there would be opportunities to be involved in ceremonial events in the course of our duties, but never thought it would be this high profile with the world watching. It was really exhilarating, I’m buzzing!”

Being centre stage as Her Majesty the Queen arrives will be an unforgettable experience for all involved and a special moment for the Royal Navy in Wales.

Brigadier Jock Fraser

After taking the Royal Salute, the Queen moved into the Senedd building, where she witnessed creative presentations by participants from all over Wales.

Due to ongoing Covid restrictions some of these were given online and Her Majesty was able to watch a mixture of pre-recorded and live performances. 

During the official opening ceremony, the Queen delivered a speech in the Senedd’s chamber to the assembly and listened to addresses from Elin Jones MS, the Llywydd (Speaker) of the Senedd, and First Minister of Wales, the Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS.

The ceremonial Mace was also carried into the Senedd and placed in its sconce to signify the official opening of the sixth Senedd.

“It is a tremendous honour for the Royal Navy to provide the Guard of Honour and for the Royal Marines Band to perform today at the State Opening of the Senedd,” said Royal Marines Brigadier Jock Fraser, Naval Regional Commander for Wales and Western England.

“Being centre stage as Her Majesty the Queen arrives will be an unforgettable experience for all involved and a special moment for the Royal Navy in Wales.”


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