UK: Queen Elizabeth Tours HMS Lancaster
Her Majesty The Queen has spent the day on board HMS Lancaster in Portsmouth, catching up on the ship’s activities around the globe.
The Queen – as the Duke of Lancaster – launched the Type 23 frigate in 1990 and has taken a keen interest in her work ever since.
On arrival at Portsmouth Naval Base Her Majesty inspected a guard of honour comprising 34 members of HMS Lancaster’s 170 crew before attending a shoreside reception for sailors and their families.
The Queen then had a private lunch on board in the ship’s hangar and spoke to crew members about the ship’s deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea last year.
During the seven-month operation HMS Lancaster – known as The Queen’s Frigate – seized drugs with a total street value of £160m – 1.2 tonnes of cocaine and almost 1.5 tonnes of cannabis. She detained 23 drug-runners and also disrupted sizeable amounts of drugs which were ditched into the sea.
Aside from counter narcotics patrols the ship visited all six of the UK overseas territories in the region, providing reassurance and security during the core hurricane season. She also assisted local communities by repairing vital buildings including hospitals and schools.
Before leaving the ship, The Queen joined the entire ship’s company for a photograph on the upper deck.
HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Peter Laughton, said: “It has been a true honour to receive a visit from our Lady Sponsor, The Duke of Lancaster.
“Since launching HMS Lancaster in 1990 I know Her Majesty The Queen has taken a keen interest in what we are doing, and today gave me the perfect opportunity to update her on the ship’s recent activities including our successful counter-narcotics deployment in the North Atlantic and Caribbean, and our more recent Defence engagement activities in Hamburg.”
Press Release, May 22, 2014; Image: Royal Navy