THE Queen’s Royal Hussars were granted the Freedom of the City of Worcester at a special ceremony today.

A framed scroll was presented to the regiment, which has a long-standing allegiance with Worcestershire, and an honorary freedom plaque was unveiled.

Civic guests, councillors, council officers and serving soldiers attended the event at Worcester’s Guildhall.

Brigadier Andrew Bellamy, who addressed the crowd after accepting the scroll on behalf of the regiment, said: “We are very proud of the decision to grant us the Freedom of Worcester.

“The presentation of the scroll is most gratefully received and we will honour and safeguard it at our regimental headquarters.

“Statements of support from councillors have been gracious, encouraging and wonderful and we thank you for your generosity and the reception you have given us.

“Worcester provides many of the men who serve in the regiment and their families live in local communities.

“There will be great joy when the regiment has its first opportunity to demonstrate its Freedom of Worcester by marching through the city with swords drawn, drums beating, band playing and colour flying.”

Mayor of Worcester Councillor Alan Amos, who also gave a brief speech to the room, said: “It is the privilege and honour of the people of Worcester to give you the Freedom of the City.

“We value you, we admire you, we will always welcome you and we look forward to seeing you in the future.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker was a guest at the special ceremony and, speaking after the official presentation, added: “It has been a fantastic and splendid occasion.

“Worcester has always been very proud of its connections with The Queen’s Royal Hussars and it is positive to celebrate this.

“It has definitely been an honour to be here.”

The Queen’s Royal Hussars was formed in Fallingbostel, Germany, on September 1, 1993, following the amalgamation of The Queen’s Own Hussars and The Queen’s Irish Hussars.

It is an armoured regiment equipped with tanks and has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

The granting of the Freedom of the City of Worcester to the regiment gives it “the right, privilege and honour of entering and marching through the city of ceremonial occasions”.