UK: Gun Salute Marks Queen’s Official Birthday

Gun Salute Marks Queen's Official Birthday

A 21-gun salute was fired by the Royal Navy on Saturday (June 15) to mark the Queen’s Official Birthday.

The saluting gun at Fort Blockhouse at Gosport – at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour – was fired at 12 noon by six specialist gunnery instructors from HMS Collingwood at Fareham.

Petty Officer Trevor Willis, Close Range Weapons Instructor, was in charge of the ceremonial team who fired the guns.

It is tradition for the Royal Navy to mark important anniversaries of the Royal Family in this way.

In keeping with tradition, the ships alongside in the Naval Base were ‘dressed overall’ with colourful flags stretching the entire length of the ship.

The custom of Navy gun salutes dates back to the early days of sail when ships visiting foreign ports would discharge their guns before entering, proving they were empty and that the visit was peaceful.

The portable 19th century gun at Fort Blockhouse has been firing salutes since it was acquired by the Navy in 1957.

Press Release, June 18, 2013; Image: Royal Navy