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King’s birthday celebrated with pomp and circumstance

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Rena Lalgie, the Governor, among the Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers for the King’s Birthday Parade (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Shots rang out over Hamilton Harbour this morning as the island celebrated the birthday of King Charles III.

This year’s King’s Birthday Parade was the first held in Bermuda since the monarch was crowned as last year’s event was cancelled because of inclement weather.

Despite overcast skies, hundreds came out to Front Street to watch the parade, which featured the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the RBR’s Band and Corps of Drums, the Bermuda Police Service and Police Reserves, RBR Junior Leaders and the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps.

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, led three cheers for the King in front of the flagpole, while the regiment fired a feu de joie, a rolling rifle salute in honour of the occasion, and cannon shots that echoed across the harbour.

Among the spectators were David Burt, the Premier, Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, Jarion Richardson, the Opposition leader, Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, and Chief Justice Larry Mussenden.

The King’s Birthday Parade (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Visitor Michael Warlow, from New Jersey, said he and his family decided to watch the parade because it was too cloudy for the beach and he was pleasantly surprised.

“You never quite know what to expect when you come to a different country, but it really is an interesting piece of Bermuda culture,” he said.

Marjorie Smith, from Portsmouth, England, said that the event was understandably smaller in scale than the Trooping the Colour in London. She was happy to get a taste of home while on holiday on the island.

“I always think it's a bit funny seeing these little bits of Britain in different places,” she noted.

“I could have probably done without the cannons, but I do love the parade and the music and really seeing young people in uniform representing their country.”

Ms Lalgie, ceremonially presented nominated personnel from several services with King's Coronation medals in recognition of the parts they played in events related to the coronation of the monarch.

Among the recipients was Corporal Joliza Vanderpool, 31, a full-time staff member at the RBR, who said: “When I received my first medal for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, I got it right before the parade with everyone else, but it's a different feeling when it gets handed to you by the Governor, so it's very exciting.

“I didn't think that coming into the regiment nine years ago, I would have received my first medal, and now I have my second medal so soon — it's a great feeling.”

Major Dwight Robinson, the parade commander, said that RBR troops earnestly prepared for the parade and performed exceptionally well on the day.

He added: “It requires concentration, focus and understanding — understanding the reason we're here, to celebrate the sovereign, and also understanding the significance of each one of their movements.

“When they have that fuller comprehension of the whole sequence in full flow, it allows them to tune in to the next correct movement.”

Major Robinson said troops were often buoyed by a positive atmosphere generated by spectators.

He added: “When they get that energy and enthusiasm from the crowd, they grow another two inches, their chests get a little wider, and the swaggers get a little broader — they definitely enjoy that part of the parade.”

Margaret Giloth, from Sandys, looked on as her son, Lieutenant Scott Brown, took part in the parade.

She said: “I am proud of what the regiment stands for now — its outreach to young Bermudians and developing them.

“When my son first joined, he was fast-tracked for leadership, and it was impressive how they spotted that in him because I knew he had it.

“I'm so proud of the development he's enjoyed being part of the regiment.

“I'm very proud of our young people for doing it. There was a time when people didn't want to do it; now they're going in and benefiting.

“That's awesome, and I fully support it.”

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, watches the King’s Birthday Parade (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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• UPDATE: this article has been updated with additional comments

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Published June 15, 2024 at 12:05 pm (Updated June 17, 2024 at 5:10 pm)

King’s birthday celebrated with pomp and circumstance

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