A 'blow by blow' account from D.D.C.Sue Haddrill who was present, at Windsor, this year as an Award Holder
“Awesome!” That’s how one of the 300 Queen's Scouts who attended this year’s National Scout Parade described her unforgettable experience.
This annual event has been held since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St. George's Day. On this day, The Scout Association also pays tribute to adult volunteers who have earned Good Service Awards through their dedication and inspirational leadership, as well as Gallantry and Meritorious Conduct Award recipients who, through their actions, have shown true Scouting spirit.
This year Windsor Castle looked stunning, bathed in glorious sunshine. Uniformed Scouts and medal-bedecked members swarmed the streets outnumbering tourists and making the town buzz with excitement. The day began with a traditional Matins service in St George’s Chapel where the sound of the choir and magnificent organ reverberated around the old stonework and colourful stained glass windows. Proud parents, excited award recipients and their guests then assembled in the wonderful surroundings of the Castle's Quadrangle where two talented Scout bands, plus the magnificent musicians of the Household Cavalry, resplendent in their red and black uniforms and plumed helmets, entertained everyone in the scorching heat, prior to the ceremony.
There, Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, and CEO, Matt Hyde, were joined by all the National Commissioners, including Tim Kidd, together with Scout Ambassadors, Julia Bradbury and Dwayne Fields, to host the celebrations. After drill practice and a message from Barack Obama, the ceremony began when the Queen’s Scouts marched to the castle and assembled on the lawn. Princess Beatrice of York and the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, then reviewed the parade.
Looking very chic in an A-line dress and angular perched fascinator, the Princess toured the rows, stopping frequently to shake hands and chat with the members on parade. The Queen’s Scouts then marched to St George’s Chapel for a reflective service with an address by Ahmad Alhendawi, General Secretary of the World Scout Organisation, which was relayed to the guests standing outside. A poignant moment followed when the renewal of Promises was led by the Chief Scout. Reciting such meaningful words, in a spectacular setting, amongst hundreds of dedicated and like-minded volunteers, proved to be both emotional and inspiring!
To conclude, having assembled in the Horseshoe Cloister, Bear Grylls addressed the Queen’s Scouts, challenging them to remember the values that brought them to the ceremony: the dogged determination to keep going when it gets tough, the friendships, teamwork and caring for others and the Scouting value of selflessness; all old fashioned principles which are still very relevant today. Finally, Bear encouraged the young people to go out into the world to do amazing things and be proud to be a Queen’s Scout.
Sue Haddrill said, “The whole day was an incredible experience from start to finish. Being awarded the Silver Wolf and attending the parade at Windsor is the pinnacle of my Scouting career, something I will remember for the rest of my life. D.C. Anne Cox added, “I was proud to be Sue’s guest on her special day and found watching so many Queen’s Scouts very inspiring.”