Wearing combat gear as she debuted a new military role, the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton visited 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG), the 1st regiment of Dragoon Guards in Norfolk, for the first time as a Colonel and even sat down for a… ride behind the wheel of a seven-tonne armored vehicle equipped with a machine gun.
The 41-year-old arrived at Robertson Barracks in the village of Swanton Morley where the regiment is stationed to meet the troops, learn more about their operations and present medals to officers for their long service.
She changed her clothes – black blazer over a black polo and trousers – in a camouflage jacket and vest, plus a helmet, to watch military exercises and drive a Jackal 2 tank and officers described her as a “natural talent” behind the wheel.
Kate exclaimed “it’s really great” after stopping the vehicle and Corporal Darreyl Tukana, a driving instructor, who was sitting next to him said: “It actually responds very well, given the size of the armored car,” and added: “She drives a Land Rover herself, I told her it’s exactly the same, just take it slow. Enjoy every bit of the journey”.
Asked if she had to teach her much, she said: “Not really, I just had to open a few switches before starting it, because it’s different to a car. But I put it in front, put it in gear and told her to drive it like a normal car.”
Kate also met families of QDG personnel to hear about their experiences and the welfare programs offered by the regiment.