Fareham band marches through streets as town gets new royal title

PARADE HMS Collingwood's band perform
PARADE HMS Collingwood's band perform

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HMS Collingwood’s band marched in a prestigious ceremony that saw the renaming of a town.

The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, based in Fareham, marched to a piece of music entitled Wootton Bassett – written by Captain Pete Curtis – a Royal Marines director of music.

It came as the Princess Royal officially bestowed the name Royal Wootton Bassett upon the Wiltshire town, which became famous for paying its respects to the servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan who had been repatriated at nearby RAF Lyneham.

Princess Anne yesterday delivered the Letters Patent on behalf of the Queen, recognising the community’s role in honouring members of the armed forces.

Prime Minister David Cameron also attended the renaming ceremony, joined by new Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, making his first public appearance since taking over the role from Liam Fox.

The decision to award the town with the royal prefix was the Queen’s.

Princess Anne said: ‘I am privileged to be allowed to add my thanks to those of Her Majesty the Queen and the whole country for the example you set in respecting with dignity the losses that this country’s operational responsibilities have forced upon us.’

Wootton Bassett’s role ceased in August when the base for repatriations moved to RAF Brize Norton.