The Prince of Wales has presented campaign medals to soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards marched on parade square at the Elizabeth Barracks in Surrey on Tuesday before being presented with their medals.

Charles, who has been Colonel of the Welsh Guards since 1975, greeted soldiers from the Prince of Wales Company in uniform as he handed out the Operational Service Medals for Afghanistan.

The Prince of Wales presents campaign medals.Charles visited Elizabeth Barracks in Woking, for the ceremony (Steve Parsons/PA)

Soldiers from the other four companies – Number 2 Company, Number 3 Company, Support Company, and Headquarters Company – received their medals from other high-ranking officials within the army.

The medals are awarded to personnel by the Ministry of Defence for service in support of the post-2001 Afghan War.

The Prince of Wales presents campaign medals.Charles met members of the Battalion and their families after the parade (Steve Parsons/PA)

Samuel George Parry, one of the soldiers on the parade said “today was a fantastic experience and it was really nice to have friends and family there as well”.

Mr Parry, 23, joined the Welsh Guards because he was “looking for a different experience” and had been “feeling like a challenge”.

“I wanted to fill my early years with interesting things that I could look back and be proud of,” he said.

The 23-year-old served in Afghanistan for four months with the Number 2 company.

He added: “In Afghanistan we were in charge of the vehicles and were meeting with the government, helping them to develop their country.”

The Prince of Wales presents campaign medalsCharles greeted soldiers from the Prince of Wales Company (Steve Parsons/PA)

Established in 1915 by King George V, the Welsh Guards are a Light Role Infantry battalion based in Pirbright, Surrey.

The guards have taken part in almost every British Army campaign since the First World War.

The Prince of Wales Company, the leading company of the guard, are known as “the jamboys” as, historically, the tallest men in the battalion were sent to the company and in the First World War were given an extra ration of jam to nourish themselves.

After the parade, Charles met members of the battalion and their families.