PROUD Richmond residents turned out in support today (Thursday, September 11) as the Royal Corp of Signals exercised their right to march through the market place – while closely inspected by Princess Anne.

Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, as the corps’ Colonel in Chief, took the salute as the Royal Corps of Signals took part in the Freedom Parade in the town for the first time in 50 years.

Large crowds gathered for their chance to catch a glimpse of the princess and to show their support to the troops who stood on parade before a lap of the market place in the midday sun.

The 250 soldiers from 2nd Signal Regiment and 21 Signal Regiment both based in Imphal Barracks, York; 22 Signal Regiment based in Stafford; and 30 Signal Regiment from Nuneaton accompanied by members of the Royal Signals Association entered the market place led by the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps.

The troops stood in front of the clock tower where Princess Anne gave out medals for operational service and accumulated campaign service.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hargreaves, Commander of 2nd Signal Regiment, said his soldiers were proud to be parading in front of Princess Anne.

He said: “This event is really important because 50 years ago the mayor and people of Richmond gave us freedom of the town, and this parade is our way of saying thank you and giving something back.

“For the Princess Royal to be here as well is very special.”

The Parade Commander and Second-in-Command of 2nd Signal Regiment, Major Jim Stillie led the troops as they exercised their right to march through the town with weapons, fixed bayonets and band playing.

Following the parade there was a reception, where a Royal Corps of Signals 50 Years Service badge was presented by the Princess Royal to previous mayor Cllr Bob White.