The Princess Royal used the traditional Gurkha namaste greeting yesterday as she met relatives and soldiers from the 2 Signal Regiment, at Imphal Barracks, York, after their return from the war in Iraq.

Princess Anne, Colonel in Chief for the Royal Corps of Signals, spent about an hour chatting to the families and was presented with a garland from Uchan Thapa, five, whose father, Un Thapa, is a Gurkha in the regiment.

Millie Oulton, whose father Phil also serves in the regiment, presented the princess with a posy.

Angela Brown, 31, whose husband, Stephen, has returned from the Gulf, said: "It was particularly nice for the children because it was difficult for them while their father was away."

Picture: John Giles