AS COLONEL-in-Chief of the newly formed Royal Lancers, and formerly of the Queen’s Royal Lancers, the Queen made a flying visit to Richmond to oversee the amalgamation of two historic regiments.

Her arrival in the histroic market town attracted scores of well-wishers who had lined the streets at the foot of Richmond Castle in the hope of catching a glimpse of the monarch, some who had marked their territory hours before she was due to appear, and others joining the crowds at the last moment.

Prince Andrew arrived ahead of his mother and was welcomed to a civic reception at Richmond Town Hall, and followed into the castle after the Royal Lancers marched through the town and into the castle.

The grounds had been transformed to accommodate hundreds of family members of the regiment, military personnel and civic leaders, who after the ceremony enjoyed afternoon tea, children’s activities, a live band and fireworks.

As the rain persisted and the temperatures dropped, news of a newborn princess buoyed the dedicated few who were sat in wait from early in the morning to catch a glimpse of the royal party arriving.

In prime position, Eileen Hunter and neighbour Pauline Petty shared an umbrella with new friends Libby and Anya Wagstaff.

Mrs Hunter said: "We live in Tower Street at the foot of the castle so we have been really excited to see the build up this week.

"I'm so pleased to hear about the new baby, we will send our congratulations if we get the chance!"

The Queen arrived shortly after the regiment’s parade through the town and was driven straight up to the castle gates in her Bentley, flanked by three security cars including two Range Rovers.

Dressed in bright pink, perhaps in celebration of becoming a great-grandmother again to baby girl, the Queen received a warm reception from the crowds before making a speech to her new regiment.

She said: “It was a great pleasure to become your Colonel-in-Chief on this historic day that marks the union of the Royal Lancers.

“My association with the lancers began in 1947 when my father gave me the responsibility for the 16th and 5th lancers which later became the Queens Royal Lancers. I am proud to have retained the position for 70 years.

“Throughout their history in the British Army the lancers have 300 years with more than 50 battle honours and 27 Victoria Crosses.

“Today a new generation of lancers from two proud regiments with illustrious histories mark a new chapter. The future of the Royal Lancers is in your hands and I know you are committed and worthy.”