Wootton Bassett given 'Royal' title
Wootton Bassett, renowned for paying its respects to soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, is to be granted the title "Royal" in recognition of its actions.
The small market town in Wiltshire will become the first town in more than 100 years to be given the honour in recognition of its spontaneous shows of respect and mourning for fallen soldiers, David Cameron said.
The news comes as Mr Cameron confirmed that troop repatriations through the town would no longer happen from September because of the closure of the nearby RAF Lyneham base.
Mr Cameron said the Queen had agreed to the tribute as "an enduring symbol of the nation's admiration and our gratitude to the people of that town".
"Their deeply moving and dignified demonstrations of respect and mourning have shown the deep bond between the public and our Armed Forces," Mr Cameron told MPs.
The Prime Minister made the announcement after making his regular tribute at the start of question time in the House of Commons to the most recent military casualty in Afghanistan.
"The town will become Royal Wootton Bassett later this year in a move I believe will be welcomed right across our country," he said.
The only other Royal towns in England are Royal Leamington Spa - granted the title Royal in 1838 by Queen Victoria - and Royal Tunbridge Wells, granted the honour in 1909 by King Edward VII.
Wootton Bassett residents welcomed the announcement but insisted that they had taken part in the ceremonies as a mark of their respect for the Armed Forces and their families and had not sought any reward.
Mary Champion, Mayor of Wootton Bassett, said: "This is a great honour for our community as the repatriations move away from Wootton Bassett."