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21-gun salute in Colchester for Queen's official birthday

Hundreds of people gathered in Colchester to watch as airborne gunners fired a Royal Salute in Colchester to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

21-gun salute in Colchester for Queen's official birthday Credit: British Army

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.”

– Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Caldwell, Commander of Colchester Garrison

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.

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Honoured Mary Beard says her children will treat her as a pantomime dame

The Cambridge classics professor and television presenter Mary Beard is now a Dame. Credit: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

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."<

– Dame Mary Beard
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