HUNDREDS of Chester residents filled the Town Hall Square to see HRH Princess Anne take the Royal Salute from the company of HMS Albion.
The Princess Royal inspected the colour party, guard and band of one of the Royal Navy’s largest warships, which is affiliated to Chester.
In a parade to mark the vessel’s 10th birthday, 250 crew and officers exercised their freedom of the city by marching from Castle Square, through Bridge Street and up Northgate Street to the Town Hall.
The Royal Marines Band Scotland sounded jubilant, playing popular anthems including World In Union and Holyrood.
Princess Anne received the royal salute and then inspected HMS Albion’s company alongside the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Eleanor Johnson, and Commanding Officer Captain James Morley.
The parade then marched onto St Werburgh Street and back up Northgate Street while cheering well-wishers lined the route.
Princess Anne was later joined by local dignitaries including Chester MP Stephen Mosley and Cllr Mike Jones, for a reception lunch at the Town Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor, while parade members enjoyed a buffet lunch hosted by the Royal Naval Association.
Captain Morley said the visit was ‘an honour and privilege’.
“We are extremely proud to have been invited to march through our affiliated city of Chester to commemorate 10 years since the ship was launched,” he added.
Chester resident Margaret Osborne said the day was ‘emotional’.
“I enjoy pageantry and am delighted to be here. There’s an air of excitement in the air and I’m pleased to be part of it. It’s quite emotional to see.”
And for former sea cadet Sue Gilbert, from Wrexham, said: “This takes me back to my cadet days. I love military events and I wanted to be part of it.”