13 Sep 2009

Elizabeth Cross presented by Queen to relatives of slain troops

1:07 pm on 13 September 2009

The Queen has presented the Elizabeth Cross to relatives of six soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The medals were given to the families of six members of The Queen's Royal Lancers in a ceremony at the Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.

It was the first time the Queen, who is the regiment's colonel-in-chief, had personally presented them.

The Elizabeth Cross recognises the loss of a member of the armed forces. It is awarded to the next of kin of personnel killed on active service, or as a result of terrorism.

The BBC reports the Elizabeth Cross is the first new award in the name of a reigning monarch, since the George Cross was instituted in 1940.

It is available to families of servicemen and women who died in conflicts dating back to 1948.

The widow of a Nottingham soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on 27 July, was presented with the first Elizabeth Cross at his funeral last month.