Princess of Wales braves freezing weather to take part in Salisbury Plain casualty drill
Kate took part in military first aid exercises on Wednesday and said it brought the realities of their training “to life”.
As the new Colonel of the Irish Guards, the Princess paid her first visit to the 1st Battalion on Salisbury Plain dressed in combat uniform.
In cold and snowy conditions, she toured the Battalion and took part in a casualty simulation where she learned how to provide basic first aid to a wounded soldier.
She said that the battlefield casualty drills, complete with fake gun fire and explosions, “just brought it all to life”.
Kate enthusiastically asked questions about the different first aid methods used by medics in the Army as she tended to the fake injury during the casualty simulation.
It was a hands-on training experience as she held the soldier’s leg while she was taught how to wrap the wound and check his vital signs.
As she placed the tourniquet on his calf, which is used to stop life-threatening bleeding, the Princess apologised and said “it’s the first time I’ve done this”.
Lance corporal Jodie Newell, 25, who was the soldier in charge of teaching the Princess first aid, described the situation as surreal.
“I was so nervous - I’m teaching the Princess of Wales med - it was an honour,” she said.
“We were just showing her what we medics do in the Army - she was actually really good, really eager to take part”.
Kate applied the second tourniquet and Celox Gauze to the soldier with the fake leg injury and chest gunshot wound, which Lcpl Newell said she took “all in her stride, like she has done it before”.
She added that it was “amazing” to have Kate visit the training area, particularly on International Women’s Day. “It’s so nice to have a woman as our Colonel,” she added.
The Princess braved the freezing weather to learn about anti-vehicle and anti-personnel de-mining and also to take part in a viewing of the weapons systems used by the Irish Guards.
This was her first visit to the soldiers training area on the Salisbury Plain after she took over the position of Colonel of the Irish Guards from the Prince of Wales, who was appointed in 2011.
As part of the visit, she met Guardsmen of Number One and Number Two Company, who talked to her about their recent experiences training park rangers in East Africa on counter-poaching.
She asked whether a lot of the training was around “education and building better relationships in their communities,” to which the soldier responded that their focus was to help the locals “take ownership of their training”.
The Princess then went on to receive a brief on Counter-Explosive Ordnance, which is the same de-mining training which is currently being delivered by the Irish Guards to Ukrainian soldiers.
She spent time asking the soldiers questions about their demonstrations and training and enthusiastically took part in the battlefield casualty drill while it snowed heavily.