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Hundreds of people gathered in Colchester to watch as airborne gunners fired a Royal Salute in Colchester to mark the Queen’s official birthday.
A battery of six guns from the Colchester based 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery fired a 21-gun salute in Castle Park at noon.
The Band of The Parachute Regiment performed a formal marching display before the Royal Salute.
“It is a great honour for Colchester Garrison to be a Royal Saluting Station. The salute provides a wonderful occasion for soldiers to put on a show for the people of Colchester and thank them for their support. The gunners and musicians performed impeccably in front of a large and appreciative audience to send our congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen.”
The guns fired were 105 mm Light Guns, the same type used by 7 Para for its operational role with 16 Air Assault Brigade, which is ready to deploy on operations anywhere in the world at short notice.
Cambridge classicist Mary Beard said it was a "smashing honour" to be made a dame in the Queen's Birthday honours.
Beard, who was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours, will receive a damehood for services to the study of classical civilisations.
The University of Cambridge professor is well-known for her online presence and regular appearances on classics and discussion panel programmes on the BBC, as well as contributing to Radio 4 series A Point Of View.
Yet she expects her friends and family to throw around a few jokes.
"I think there will be a bit of ribaldry to be honest - and a few jokes about 'pantomime dames'. But all good fun," she said.<
"It is of course a smashing honour. I feel especially pleased that someone working on the ancient classical world gets honoured in this way.
"I'd like to treat it as a bit of a tribute to the Greeks and Romans themselves - as well as to all my wonderful academic colleagues who also do so much for the study of antiquity."<
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