Today, The Queen was in London to visit the HMS Sutherland at West India docks and mark the warship’s 20th anniversary.
Her Majesty is accustomed to naval vessels, as her grandfather, father, husband and sons have served in this division of the armed forces, of which she is head.
Upon arrival at the docks, the British Monarch was greeted by Andrew Canale, the ship’s Commander, and Sir Phillip Jones, First Sea Lord Admiral. Canale’s daughter, Olivia, also presented the royal guest with a posy.
HMS Sutherland is normally based in Plymouth, although in the last year it has been the Fleet Ready Escort and Towed Array patrol ship, which involves the vessel travelling around the UK. The ship has recently finished a six-month preparation process for its deployment in 2018.
She has been responsible for escorting a number of Russian warships as they transited past UK territorial waters, including two Steregushchiy-class corvettes, Soobrazitelny and Boiky – the newest class in the Russian Navy.
Once onboard the vessel, The Queen attended a lunch in the hangar, which was prepared by chefs from the Royal Navy. She was also taken on a tour of the warship, where she spoke animatedly with various members of the crew, as well as their families and former commanding officers.
The men and women sailors gave the Monarch a first-hand account of their experiences in the Caribbean, having been deployed as part of the disaster relief efforts following the devastating hurricanes in the region last month.
During the tour of the ship, The Queen was shown the warship’s various facilities, such as the Wildcat helicopter. In addition to the naval officers, she also stopped to speak with members of the Flight and the ship’s firefighters.
“This is a very special day for all who have served in HMS Sutherland and to our affiliates who have supported us over the past 20 years,” said Cdr Canale, who previously served as equerry to The Queen from 2012 to 2015.
“Everyone who’s served on Sutherland has much to be proud of and we are honoured to be able to mark this occasion in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.”
The Sovereign then posed for a group photo with the ship’s company to mark the occasion.
Members of the HMS Sutherland’s company also gave a ‘Man and Cheer Ship’ in recognition of the royal guest – a chorus of ‘hip hip, hooray’ shouted in conjunction with the circular movement of the sailor’s hat.
The Monarch received the cheer with a wave.
The Ship’s Company gives a ‘Men and Cheer Ship’ in The Queen’s honour pic.twitter.com/r0lT1eD35L
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) 23 October 2017
During the ship’s short visit to the capital, members of the HMS Sutherland team will play a football match against the Royal Household, and welcome people from local communities on board for ship’s tours.