THERE was a jubilant atmosphere in Forfar this morning as HRH the Duke of Rothesay took the Royal Salute at the Black Watch’s Homecoming Parade, writes Janet Thomson.
From early morning every vantage point throughout the town centre was taken for those wishing to cheer the troops home.
Shortly after 11 am the Duke arrived in Castle Street to cheers from the crowd before he made his way into the Municipal Building.
As Royal Honorary Colonel of The Queen’s Own Yeomanry and Royal Colonel of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) and 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (7 SCOTS), he took the salute outside the Town and County Hall.
Over 500 soldiers were applauded as they marched from Chapelpark Primary school, down East High Street and back to the school via Chapel Street.
One eye-witness spoke of the “jubilant atmosphere” and the feeling of pride in the crowds as they welcomed the troops home from their successful tour of Afghanistan.
After taking the Royal Salute the Duke delighted the crowds with an impromptu walk-about, visiting D & A Kennedy the butchers and speaking to staff outside Boots the Chemist.
He also made a visit to David Irons and Sons, now owned by the Earl of Strathmore, before attending a reception at the Royal British Legion where he met service personnel from each regiment as well as members of The Black Watch Association.
He then presented soldiers from The Queens Own Yeomanry with operational medals.
The parade included the Pipes and Drums and Regimental Band and marked the homecoming of 3 SCOTS. It also recognised the battalion’s strong links with the area.
A full report on the historic day, as well as the story of a very special former Black Watch soldier who has strong links to the Royal family who witnessed the parade, will appear in next week’s Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald.
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