Wootton Bassett To Become A Royal Town
Wootton Bassett, which has hosted the repatriation of dozens of UK troops killed in Afghanistan, is to be officially renamed Royal Wootton Bassett.
David Cameron announced at Prime Minister's Questions that the Queen had decided to single out the Wiltshire town for the rare honour.
It will be the first town to gain the regal title in more than 100 years.
Only two other English towns have the prefix.
Wootton Bassett has seen more than 150 repatriations since 2007, although it will cease to do so after September.
Mr Cameron said: "I recently made a recommendation to Her Majesty the Queen, and I am very pleased today to announce, that Her Majesty has agreed to confer the title 'Royal' upon the town, as an enduring symbol of the nation's admiration and gratitude.
"The town will become Royal Wootton Bassett later this year."
He also thanked the people of the town for "their deeply moving and dignified demonstrations of respect and mourning".
Shopkeepers and residents would join families, serving personnel and veterans in lining the streets to remember the fallen heroes, as hearses carried them through the town from RAF Lyneham to John Radcliffe Hospital.
Wootton Bassett mayor Mary Champion said: "This is a great honour for our community as the repatriations move away from Wootton Bassett.
"Whilst we have never sought recognition for our simple act of respect, I am certain that this will serve to reinforce the pride and gratitude we feel for the members of our Armed Services, who will always be in our thoughts."
From September, repatriation ceremonies for those soldiers killed in conflict zones will be held at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Wonderful news. Lets hope Brize Norton is free from some of the disgraceful scenes from some people proclaiming to be British.http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Video-Royal-Wootton-Bassett-Repatriation-Town-To-Be-Made-Royal-Town-By-Queen-PM-Announces/Article/201103315953436?f=rss