Morale boosted by Queen's Suffolk visit

THE Queen met families, friends and colleagues of East Anglian service personnel deployed in Iraq, who are affected by what she described as "this difficult moment in our nation's history".

THE Queen met families, friends and colleagues of East Anglian service personnel deployed in Iraq, who are affected by what she described as "this difficult moment in our nation's history".

The visit, to RAF Honington, yesterday saw around 300 relatives from both the Suffolk base and nearby Marham in Norfolk, gather to see the royal party.

It is the first time the Queen and Prince Philip have visited the base, which has deployed more than 600 personnel to the Gulf.

Arriving separately, by aeroplane and car respectively, the royal couple spent around an hour at Honington at lunchtime.

Dressed in a lime green, calf-length coat, matching hat and black gloves, she spent the majority of her visit chatting to relatives.

She met Rowena Sinclair, whose fiancé was deployed to Iraq with the JNCBR (Joint Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Regiment) on February 6.

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"It is good to have the Queen here, and talking to her was a real morale boost. It is nice to know she cares enough to come down and see some of the families based in the area."

"Having the Queen here has helped show us that everybody is aware of the heartache we are going through," said Charlotte Carey, whose husband was deployed to the Middle East seven weeks ago.

Personnel deployed from Honington, include members from the JNCBR, First Royal Tank Regiment and II Squadron RAF Regiment.

Units stationed at the Suffolk base concentrate mainly on protection, and offer families some hope their loved ones, away from front line action, may return safely.

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