AN historic military regiment has been given the Freedom of the City - with a brigadier describing it as a "special day".

The Queen's Royal Hussars, now based in Sennelagar, Germany, has been granted the rare accolade after Worcester City Council unanimously voted it through last night.

Councillors from rival parties united to say the regiment, known for its strong recruitment links with Worcester, deserves it.

Back in 2009 people lined the city's streets to welcome the regiment home from a tour of Afghanistan.

During the meeting Conservative Councillor Andy Roberts said: "When I was Mayor I had the honour of hosting two military parades, I remember them both vividly.

"They both had things in common, both took place on gloriously sunny days, and both involved people who had returned from active duty in Afghanistan, some of whom marched, and some of whom had to be helped through due to their injuries.

"The Hussars are connected to Worcester due to the people they recruit, they've got immoveable links to the city and should be able to march through not as a privilege, but as a right."

Councillor Adrian Gregson, the leader, said: "The significance of the military presence in Worcestershire and Worcester in particular, is well known.

"The honour we are seeking to bestow is not only for the men and women part of it now, but their predecessors too."

Councillor Chris Mitchell said he "wholeheartedly" backed the motion while Councillor Lucy Hodgson, a former city mayor, labelled the Hussars "a fine regiment".

After the decision Brigadier Andrew Bellamy said: "You've made me a very proud man.

"I've listened to what you've said but I am proud, above all about the result for my regiment.

"We will enjoy it, but respect it. I am mindful of this city's great generosity when we returned home from tour in Afghanistan and marched through your fine city.

"Your young men in my regiment are among the very best."

Military units who are granted the honour have the right to march through Worcester with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying.