Third time lucky for schoolgirl presenting Prince of Wales with bouquet

A schoolgirl finally managed to present the Prince of Wales with a bouquet of flowers on her third attempt, thanks to a little help from a soldier.

Charles twice did not spot Bella Armstrong, six, among the crowd during a visit to the headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (AARC) at Imjin Barracks in Gloucestershire.

The Innsworth Infant School pupil twice attempted to hand Charles the flowers but finally succeeded when a soldier stepped in and positioned her in front of the prince.

Bella Armstrong, 6, from Innsworth, offers the Prince of Wales flowers (Ben Birchall/PA)
Bella Armstrong, 6, from Innsworth, offers the Prince of Wales flowers (Ben Birchall/PA)

Charles was visiting the AARC, one of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato)'s High Readiness Force (Land) Headquarters, for the first time.

He was met by the commander of the AARC, Lieutenant General Tim Radford, in front of a multinational flag party and honour guard representing the 23 countries that work together at the AARC.

A soldier comes from the crowd and helps Bella Armstrong (Ben Birchall/PA)
A soldier comes from the crowd and helps Bella Armstrong (Ben Birchall/PA)

During a speech at the centre, Charles said: "We owe all of you a huge debt of gratitude from every country in Nato for the huge effort you put in and for helping us all, at the end of the day, to sleep a little more easily in our beds.

"I do hope that you have the greatest possible success with your re-calibration and in ensuring that Europe is kept in the position that we have become accustomed as a result of all your activities."

Bella Armstrong, 6, from Innsworth, offers the Prince of Wales flowers (Ben Birchall/PA)
Bella Armstrong, six, from Innsworth, offers the Prince of Wales flowers (Ben Birchall/PA)

During a visit to the Officers' Mess, Charles was photographed with the 23 senior national representatives of each country represented at the AARC.

He then attended a reception with AARC personnel and their families, including Gurkhas.

The AARC is currently comprised of troops from Albania, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US.

Children from two local schools and a nursery waved Union flags outside the centre as Charles concluded his visit.

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