The clear crisp orders resounding across the St Ann’s Fort drill square of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) matched Parade Commander Wendy Yearwood’s stride and stance as she led the troops in a display for the army’s change of command yesterday.
Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security Freundel Stuart later lauded her performance as “exquisite”.
The troops of Barbados’ armed forces responded to the commands of this lady – whom Prince Harry last year reportedly described as “elegant” – with swagger and cadence as they performed for just under two hours, bidding farewell to retired Chief of Staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne and welcoming his successor Lt Colonel Glyne Grannum.
Later in the Officer’s Mess, Stuart said Commander Yearwood displayed, “exquisite command of the parade this evening”.
“That’s only a smaller scale repetition of what she did at Kensington Oval for the 50th anniversary of Independence parade,” he added.
“When Prince Harry spoke to me before he left Barbados, he was still puzzled at how she could be so elegant in the command of that parade that evening, and he assured me that parade occupies a very special place that he will forever treasure.”
The accolades that the British prince showered on Yearwood came from a firsthand view as he walked alongside the outstanding parade commander while reviewing the troops at the Golden Jubilee parade in Kensington Oval last November.
Major Yearwood was appointed Acting Commander in March of last year, and then moved on to be confirmed in the post.
Her face is now the one to which Barbadians will in time become accustomed in leading parades of those sworn to defend the land.