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LIVE: Queen in Kent to give soldiers from Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders final farewell at Howe Barracks in Canterbury

  • Queen visits Howe Barracks for farewell to 5 SCOTS

  • Her Majesty witnesses final parade and meets soldiers

  • Battalion is to leave Canterbury base after 10 years

  • Visit comes after emotionallast march through city

  • Scroll to the bottom of this page to read all our live coverage

  • Click here for special report on the Queen in Kent


 Video: The Queen's visit to Howe Barracks

3pm

Well, that's it - the Queen has left Kent after an emotional visit to Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

Thanks for reading our live coverage of what has been a huge day for hundreds of county soldiers. You can re-live it all by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

The Queen leaves Howe Barracks by helicopter
The Queen leaves Howe Barracks by helicopter

2.56pm

Rounding off a "hugely successful" royal visit, Major Ollie Dobson said: "It has been an exceptional day and an incredibly emotionally-charged day.

"The Queen seemed genuinely pleased to be here and very relaxed. She was disarmingly relaxed to talk to.

"A lot of hard work has gone into today and it has paid off with a fantastic parade by the men."

2.45pm

The Queen has now left Howe Barracks after a visit of more than three hours.

Clutching a posy of flowers, she boarded the royal helicopter in the grounds of the Canterbury base - waved off by a huge crowd of soldiers.

The Queen leaves Howe Barracks by helicopter
The Queen leaves Howe Barracks by helicopter
Soldiers wave goodbye to the Queen after Howe Barracks visit
Soldiers wave goodbye to the Queen after Howe Barracks visit

2.30pm

As they prepare to wave off the Queen, these soldiers tell us on camera of their pride at parading for the Queen - and how she lightened the tense mood:

2.14pm

The Queen has now signed the visitors' book at Howe Barracks after a reception and is due to leave in a waiting helicopter.

Although the public events are now over, reporter Gerry Warren says a crowd has gathered outside the officers' mess to bid her farewell.

1.59pm

Here are some new pictures of the Queen's earlier inspection of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Howe Barracks, taken by photographer Martin Apps.

Her Majesty is expected to leave the barracks by helicopter at about 2.30pm after lunch and signing the visitors' book.

Her Majesty The Queen visits Howe Barracks for a final parade of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Picture: Martin Apps
Her Majesty The Queen visits Howe Barracks for a final parade of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Picture: Martin Apps
The Queen inspects the guard at Howe Barracks in Canterbury
The Queen inspects the guard at Howe Barracks in Canterbury

1.35pm

And now we can lookback at today's visit by the Queen in audio - here's a report by kmfm reporter Jo Earle:

Reporter Jo Earle looks back on today's visit by the Queen

1.18pm

While we're waiting for the next stage of the Queen's visit as she attends a reception, here's a video wrap-up of the highlights of today's proceedings:

1.01pm

Next up the Queen's set to take a break from proceedings and attend a reception and lunch as guest of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Everyone's wondering what's on the menu...

12.53pm

Here's the Queen entering a battle zone... well not quite, but inspecting weapons during a demo of the 5 SCOTS in a "capability display".

12.48pm

The Queen's now meeting the newly-formed Balaklava Company and has been chatting to Major Ollie Dobson. Lunch being served soon.

12.40pm 

And that smile returns as the Queen meets children from the Argyll Juniors football team. What an experience for these youngsters.

Next up, we're expecting the Queen to witness demonstrations - called "capability displays" - by soldiers.

12.36pm

Her Majesty has moved inside now to see some of the other - younger - members of the 5 SCOTS extended family.

Here she is watching a performance of Scottish dancing by soldiers' children.

Queen watches dancing by children at Howe Barracks
Queen watches dancing by children at Howe Barracks

12.31pm

And it's stayed dry for the Queen to take her seat outside at Howe Barracks for the official battalion portrait. In case you can't see her, she's the flash of lavender in the middle of the front row.

Private Dillon Gordon later revealed how the Queen lightened the mood during the photo shoot.

""She seemed to be in great spirits," he said. "At one point, the photographer was getting frustrated with trying to organise 300 soldiers into place.

"He went underneath the photostand - and she said 'oh he's a magician too!' She really lightened the mood." 

Queen poses for whole-battalion photography at Howe Barracks
Queen poses for whole-battalion photography at Howe Barracks

12.24pm

The Queen looks delighted to meet the regimental mascot - a Highland pony called Cruachan.

We're now expecting Her Majesty to join a whole-battalion photograph. If the weather holds...

The Queen meets 5 SCOTS mascot at Howe Barracks
The Queen meets 5 SCOTS mascot at Howe Barracks

12.20pm

We've managed to get a bit closer to the Queen now to bring you this picture.

The Queen chats to soldiers at Howe Barracks in Canterbury
The Queen chats to soldiers at Howe Barracks in Canterbury

12.16pm

The Queen's now been meeting officials and dignitaries after the parade. She's seen here talking to Heather Taylor, the recently-appointed Lord Mayor of Canterbury.

Next up, we're expecting her to meet soldiers who have served at Balmoral.

12.11pm

No, this isn't an advert for Apple - look how many iPads and iPhones are being used by guests at Queen's visit to Howe Barracks.

12.06pm

Another picture of the parade in front of soldiers' families and friends - and Her Majestyat a Dais while inspecting the guard.

12.03pm

Addressing The Queen, Lieutenant General Andrew Graham, the Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, welcomed her to Howe Barracks.

He said: "At a moment of translation and change in the 125 year history of the regiment, today is our final parade."

He said the regiment had "never let its head drop throughout the recent change".

Turning to the Queen, he said: "We will never forget your interest, support and encouragement and advice."

11.57am

Here's video of The Queen on the Parade Square at Howe Barracks. She's due to meet the regimental mascot Cruachan - a Highland pony!

11.52am

The Queen's now inspecting the guard as 5 SCOTS line up on the Parade Square at Howe Barracks. No brolly.

The Queen inspects the guard at Howe Barracks
The Queen inspects the guard at Howe Barracks

11.47am

Here's the Queen in the Parade Square. The pipes and drums played God Save the Queen as she arrived. Wearing a lavender outfit with matching hat.

11.43am

And she's arrived! Taken from helicopter to Parade Square in a car. She's wearing a lavender outfit and also an Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders broach.

11.40am

The Queen's helicopter has just touched down at Howe Barracks. Silence has descended as the crowds anticipate Her Majesty appearance.

11.37am

The Queen's helicopter has arrived over Canterbury - preparing to land in Howe Barracks any minute.

11.34am

Oh dear - it looks like the rain is getting heavier in Canterbury.

11.30am

Proudly standing in line, soldiers from 5 SCOTS have lined up on the parade ground at Howe Barracks awaiting a final visit from their Colonel-in-Chief - Her Majesty The Queen.

Soldiers from 5 SCOTS on parade ground at Howe Barracks
Soldiers from 5 SCOTS on parade ground at Howe Barracks

11.28am

11.26am

Soldiers have marched onto the parade ground at Howe Barracks ahead of the Queen's imminent arrival. We're expected her in the next few minutes.

Soldiers march onto the parade square ahead of the Queen's imminent arrival
Soldiers march onto the parade square ahead of the Queen's imminent arrival

11.22am

Video of a parade at Howe Barracks ahead of the Queen's arrival.

11.17am

There's lots of chatter at the barracks about what the Queen might be wearing today.

Here's the outfit she chose when she last visited Kent, to see the newly opened Turner Contemporary in Margate back in November 2011.

The Queen visits Margate's Turner Contemporary in November 2011
The Queen visits Margate's Turner Contemporary in November 2011

11.14am

And here's how our professional photographers are covering the event. Impressive collection of kit, but it looks like he needs a bigger suitcase.

11.12am

Families of these - and all - the soldiers must be so proud. It's a big day for them

11.10am

While we're waiting for Her Majesty to arrive... it's Howe Barracks in Canterbury that 5 SCOTS will be saying goodbye to.

The battalion is being reduced to a single Public Duties Incremental Company that will be known as Balaklava Company - a nod to its Crimean War record.

Some 600 people are set to move out when 5 SCOTS moves to Edinburgh and the base will be "disposed of".

What happens to the 500-acre site is yet to be decided , but it's likely to be sold off for development - watch this space...

Howe Barracks in Canterbury
Howe Barracks in Canterbury

11.06am

Flag-waving families have taken their places on the parade ground waiting for the Queen to arrive.

Flag-waving children await the arrival of the Queen
Flag-waving children await the arrival of the Queen
Families of 5 SCOTS soldiers await the Queen's arrival
Families of 5 SCOTS soldiers await the Queen's arrival

11.02am

We're also expecting Her Majesty to see demonstrations by soldiers who will carry out "capability displays".

Later she will see a demonstration of footall by the children of servicemen in the barracks gym.

And two dancing displays by Scottish children will involve traditional Scottish country dance... and a Nepalese display.

10.59am

Reporter Gerry Warren says the Queen will witness the parade alongside Lieutenant General Andrew Graham, the Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and Lord Mayor of Canterbury Heather Taylor.

10.57am

5 SCOTS have been at Howe Barracks for 10 years and it's been an eventful decade.

Here's a picture of when the Queen visited in 2004 to thank soldiers for their services abroad and give out medals for outstanding service in Iraq.

They had just recently returned from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq.

The battalion has also spent time in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The Queen presents medals at Howe Barracks in 2004
The Queen presents medals at Howe Barracks in 2004

10.52am

Warm up by the 5 SCOTS band before The Queen arrives
Warm up by the 5 SCOTS band before The Queen arrives

10.49am

10.47am

Proud mother Michelle Freelander said she's delighted to visit the barracks to see her soldier son meet the Queen as he missed the parade this week... because he didn't have a kilt!

She said: "We're very, very proud. It's a sad day, but he'll be going to another regiment."

10.43am

Incidentally, did you know the Queen was appointed as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyllshire Highlanders - later to become 5 SCOTS in 1947? It was a 21st birthday present from her father, King George VI.

Well, beats being given the key to the door...

10.40am

Company Sergeant Major George James Andrew has told us Kent - and Canterbury in particular - will always have a special place in the soldiers' hearts:

Company Sergeant Major George James Andrew

10.38am

10.36am

So it's a big day for soldiers from 5 SCOTS - their final parade and inspection in front of their Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty the Queen.

And it's just three days since 500 soldiers took part in an emotional parade through Canterbury, exercising their Freedom of the City for the last time. What a week for them.

Here are a couple of pictures of the parade - and you can read more here.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders parade through Canterbury
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders parade through Canterbury
Well-wishers turned out to support soldiers from 5 SCOTS as they paraded through Canterbury
Well-wishers turned out to support soldiers from 5 SCOTS as they paraded through Canterbury

10.33am

10.32am

Families of soldiers and guests are gathering outside the barracks in excited anticipation of the Queen's arrival.

There's strict security, with all guests being checked before being allowed on the base.

Reporter Gerry Warren says Army bosses and soldiers on the parade ground are also hoping predicted heavy rain holds off until the visit is over.

Soldiers' families and guests gather at Howe Barracks ahead of the Queen's arrival
Soldiers' families and guests gather at Howe Barracks ahead of the Queen's arrival

10.30am

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Her Majesty The Queen's visit to Howe Barracks in Canterbury.

We have reporters and photographers at the barracks awaiting her arrival and aim to keep you up-to-date with words, pictures, video and audio.

Don't forget to refresh this page for all the latest throughout the visit.

You can get involved by sending us your views or pictures by leaving a comment below, emailing

multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or tweeting us @Kent_Online using #kentqueen.


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