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Prince of Wales arrives in Folkestone to honour 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles at Shorncliffe barracks

The Prince of Wales has arrived by helicopter at a parade to join Kent's Gurkhas in their 25th anniversary celebrations.

His Royal Highness swooped in this afternoon to the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone to meet the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR).

Welcomed with a royal salute, the next in line to the throne began by handing out operational service medals and several awards.

The Prince of Wales has arrived at the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone
The Prince of Wales has arrived at the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone

A red carpet was laid out on the vast lawn, leading Charles into a marquee set up for the event.

His uniform was decorated with a Mala, the traditional Nepalese flower garland around his neck, in the Regimental colours of green, black and red.

As the prince, who is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, chatted with soldiers and their friends and family, trombones and pipes could be heard as the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas played out.

The service personnel have all recently returned from a seven-month tour of Kabul on Operation TORAL - the UK’s contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

This year marks the 25th year since the Royal Gurkha Rifles was formed from four Gurkha Rifles Regiments.

The Prince of Wales has arrived at the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone
The Prince of Wales has arrived at the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone
The Prince of Wales has arrived at the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone
The Prince of Wales has arrived at the Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone

A special cake, baked by Gurkha chefs to mark the occasion was just cut by Charles and he may well have a slice before he heads home in his chopper.

But it's not just the Gurkhas who are enjoying the royal visit - one Kent resident has carved a rather impressive portrait of the prince into a watermelon.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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