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Prince is king of castle with soldiers.

HUNDREDS turned out to see Prince Charles as he visited Northumberland at the weekend.

The Prince of Wales was invited to tour the second phase of the Alnwick Garden, the only public garden in Britain to be allowed to grow cannabis.

As a guest of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle, Prince Charles also presented the Queen's Own Yeomanry Regiment with its first regimental guidon.

The Prince, wearing full ceremonial dress, spoke at the hour-long military ceremony, praising the troops for their efforts and bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The guidon is a flag of crimson silk damask embroidered and fringed with gold with the regimental battle honours emblazoned upon it and the regimental emblem embroidered in the centre.

The Queen's Own Yeomanry is a formation reconnaissance regiment in the Royal Armoured Corps and was formed in 1971. It is made up of five sabre squadrons administered from a regimental headquarters in Newcastle. During the ceremony, the Prince also presented Operational Telic medals to two soldiers from the regiment for their service in Iraq.

The medals were given to Lieut Alex Siddell, from Girvan, in Ayrshire, and Cpl Simon Steele, from Hamilton, in Lanarkshire, who has since transferred to the regular Army with the Queen's Royal Lancers.

Sgt Neil Hunter, from Westmoor, Newcastle, was one of hundreds of military at the ceremony. He said: "This is a once in a lifetime event to happen to the regiment, it has been a fantastic day."

Sgt Peter Smith, from Seghill, Cramlington, added: "It has taken place in the middle weekend when the boys usually go home to see their families, but they have sacrificed that to come here today."

CAPTION(S):

CEREMONY: Prince Charles reviews the Queen's Own Yeomanry in the grounds of Alnwick Castle.; Picture: Tim McGuinness www.icNewcastle.co.uk/buyaphoto ref: 00992105; ROYAL ENDORSEMENT: The Prince of Wales congratulates Cpl Simon Steele on his medal.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2007
Words:319
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