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Royal quest for armed Forces Day; Countess of Wessex is attending.

A GALA to celebrate Armed Forces Day on Tyneside will have a royal guest.

Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex will be the guest of honour at the Tyne and Wear Diamond Jubilee Gala on Saturday.

The event will celebrate Armed Forces Day but also mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.

The Countess will be attending as Honorary Colonel-in-Chief of Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, and will be returned from active service in Afghanistan.

The gala, at Exhibition Park, on Claremont Road, Newcastle, will start at 10am when the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Nigel Sherlock, and civic guests will be presenting Diamond Jubilee medals to some of the region's armed forces and cadets, police, fire, ambulance, coastguard and prison services.

During her visit, Her Royal Highness will be officially welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Coun Jackie Slesenger, and will have an opportunity to talk to the service men and women and their families.

Visitors to next weekend's celebration will be treated to demonstrations, face painting, paintball, climbing wall, and music from the bands of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Sea Cadets and the 101 Pipes and Drums.

Young and old will also get the opportunity to see some of the Army's equipment up close, which include a Scimitar Tank, Foden recovery vehicle and Field Ambulance and items from the Royal Engineers. During the day, visitors will also get the chance to celebrate our veterans, who will be holding their own service of thanks at the city's War Memorial at Old Eldon Square, and this will include the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag. Coun Slesenger, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to Newcastle, especially during this Diamond Jubilee year.

"The Gala Jubilee celebrations will give everyone in our region the chance to pay tribute to the dedication of our armed forces and also the extraordinary service of Her Majesty The Queen during her 60 years on the throne."

As part of their return from Afghanistan, the men and women of 201 (Northern) Field Hospital (Volunteers) will parade through the city centre so there will be rolling road closures.

The parade starts from the War Memorial, Eldon Square, at 10.15am and will travel along Blackett Street, Northumberland Street, Northumberland Road, John Dobson Street, St Mary's Place, Barras Bridge and Claremont Road before reaching Exhibition Park.

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HONOUR Armed Forces Day celebrations at Old Eldon Square last year SPECIAL VISIT Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2012
Words:425
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