The King received at Windsor Castle yesterday detachments from the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the South Irish Horse, the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers – the six South of Ireland regiments which are being disbanded [upon the formation of the Irish Free State] – to receive from them their colours, which are to be hung permanently on the grand staircase near to the famous and historic St George’s Hall.
The King delivered the following speech with marked emphasis, and manifesting deep feeling:
“We are here today in circumstances which cannot fail to strike a note of sadness in our hearts. No regiment parts with its colours without feelings of sorrow...
“Your colours are the record of valorous deeds in war. You are called upon to part with them today for reasons beyond your control and resistance. By you and your predecessors these colours have been reverenced and guarded as a sacred trust, which trust you now confide to me.
“As your king, I am proud to accept this trust; but I fully realise with what grief you relinquish these dearly-prized emblems, and pledge my word that within these ancient and historic walls your colours will be treasured, honoured and protected.”
By the command of the King, the visitors were shown over the Castle, and were entertained to luncheon on the completion of their pathetic errand to Windsor.