Prince of Wales meets new regimental mascot ram called Private Derby XXXII

The Prince of Wales has met one of the newest recruits to the Mercian Regiment - a ram called Private Derby XXXII.

Despite having a reputation of being feisty, the regimental mascot was happy to be stroked by Charles when he visited a military base to mark his 10 years as colonel-in-chief of the fighting force.

The heir to the throne was introduced to the 20-month-old Swaledale, which only took up its role a few weeks ago, by Ram Major, Corporal Philip Thornton and Ram Orderly, Private Lee Bradbury at Bulford Camp near Salisbury.

The Prince of Wales  visits the 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Peter Nicholls/PA)
The Prince of Wales visits the 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Peter Nicholls/PA)

The Mercian Regiment has been at the forefront of military operations since its foundation in 2007, deploying twice to Iraq and seven times to Afghanistan.

Its capabilities include a light role infantry battalion, an armoured infantry battalion equipped with the Warrior fighting vehicle, and an Army Reserve battalion.

Wearing combat fatigues, black boots and a beret the prince asked Cpl Thornton if the ram was "trained" and when he was told Private Derby was, asked "does he behave himself reasonably well?" and was told "he's a little bit feisty".

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