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The 1st Battalion Scots Guards paraded down the Royal Mile today (Friday, 31 May 2013) after receiving the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh to celebrate their return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Battalion formed up on Johnston Terrace, where the Colours joined the Parade. The Parade then stepped off at 1100 hrs, marching down The Royal Mile, where the Lord Provost and Regimental Lieutenant Colonel took the salute.

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They then marched to The City Chambers, where the Lord Provost presented the Battalion with the Privilege of Edinburgh (Freedom), which was accepted by the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel.

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Following the Presentation, the Battalion then continued to march down the Royal Mile with the pipes and drums playing towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse with bayonets fixed as the privilege allows.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Rob Howieson said:

“It is a great honour to be marching through Edinburgh today. We are truly humbled by the Council’s and the people of Edinburgh’s decision to bestow the Privilege of Edinburgh on us.

“The battalion has had a challenging six months in Afghanistan and today’s parade recognises their achievements, giving friends, families, and the people of Edinburgh an opportunity to celebrate their safe return.

“We are extremely grateful for the support we received from the local community all through the tour. Each week we would receive a helicopter-load of letters and parcels from well-wishers across Scotland.

“We were sent everything from woolly hats to chocolate and board games. It was very touching that we were being thought about at a time we were so far from our homes.”

Receiving the ancient honour of the Privilege of the City of Edinburgh now allows 1st Battalion Scots Guards to march in the city with ‘drums beating, Colours flying, and bayonets fixed’.

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