The Princess Royal in Winchester for King's Royal Hussars Freedom Parade

Press Release: 03/04/2006

The King's Royal Hussars will become one of only six military units to have received the Freedom of the City of Winchester. They will granted this honour on Wednesday 12 April 2006, in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment.

The celebrations will start with a service in Winchester Cathedral at 10.30am followed at 11.10am by a procession to the Broadway of Councillors and members of the Regiment, who returned from a six-month tour of Iraq in October.  At 11.30am, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal will accept the Freedom of the City from the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Neil Baxter. 

After the ceremony a parade involving 200 officers, NCOs and soldiers, accompanied by the Band of Hussars & Light Dragoons and followed by mounted officers and Scimitar Armoured Vehicles, will exercise their right to march through the City, 'to the beat of drums, with Guidon flying, swords drawn and bayonets fixed'.  This is in accordance with the ancient Freedom privilege, traditionally awarded by cities to host or guest regiments who they wished to honour.

The 10th Royal Hussars Home Headquarters first opened in the City in 1963 and, following amalgamation with the 11th Hussars in 1969, the Regiment established itself at Peninsula Barracks, also opening a museum there in 1980.

In 1992, there was a further amalgamation with the 14th/20th King's Hussars and the new Regiment continues to have a Home Headquarters at Peninsula Barracks.  Recruits receive their initial training at the Army Training Regiment in Sir John Moore Barracks, on the outskirts of the City, so soldiers on parade will know Winchester well.

The parade will march from the Broadway, around King Alfred's Statue, up through the High Street, past the Westgate Tower and on to Peninsula Barracks in Romsey Road, so there will be plenty of vantage points from which members of the public can watch.

With a history that can be traced back to 1715, The Regiment is famous for its crimson-coloured trousers, which will be worn on the Parade.  Besides Iraq, over the last few years the Regiment has been on operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

Equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks and Scimitar Armoured Vehicles, The King's Royal Hussars use the latest technology to continue an unbroken tradition stretching back to the Eighteenth Century.  The latest deployment, to Iraq, saw the Regiment spread throughout the Southern part of the country, responsible for providing both Armoured support and Land Rover patrols to the British Brigade. 

A Challenger 2 tank will be in the Broadway on the day with the Regimental Recruiting Stand, with soldiers in a variety of uniforms reflecting their different roles.  Pictures of recent operations and life in the Army will be there for the public to look at, along with soldiers ready to chat about life in the Regiment and the wider Army.