At Buckingham Palace, The Queen, accompanied by other Members of The Royal Family, gave a reception for members of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.
Her Majesty is Patron of the Association, which represents all living holders of the Victoria Cross and its equivalent, the George Cross, which is awarded to civilians and military personnel. The reception is a customary occasion which forms part of the VC and GC Association's biennial reunion in London.
At today's reception, The Queen was joined by The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, Princess Eugenie, The Duke of Kent, Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra who met the 24 Association members, together with widows of past members and parents and families of the fallen.
Yesterday, The Prince of Wales, who is the Association's President, and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a Service in support of the Association, before hosting a tea party at St James's Palace.
The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria on 29th January 1856 and made retrospective to 1854 to include actions in the Crimean War. The Victoria Cross is awarded "for most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy". The award is bestowed irrespective of rank to those serving in British and Commonwealth Forces who have shown most conspicuous bravery.
The George Cross was instituted by His Majesty King George VI on 24th September 1940, during the height of the Blitz. The George Cross, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger". The medal is primarily a civilian award; however the George Cross may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct which is not in the face of the enemy.
A new member has been welcomed into The VC and GC Association since the last reunion. Dominic Troulan, a retired British Army officer and former Royal Marine was awarded the George Cross in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours for his actions during the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya.