THE Queen praised sailors for their Diamond Jubilee efforts and signalled the monarchy’s age-old thank you to the Royal Navy – ‘splice the mainbrace’.
The order, which can only be given by the Royal Family, allowed sailors all over the world to enjoy a tot of rum.
It comes after the navy was at the heart of celebrations to mark Her Majesty’s 60-year reign, including HMS Diamond’s spectacular 21-gun salute entering Portsmouth Harbour on June 1 and the participation of ships, boats, sailors, Royal Marines and bands at the Thames River Pageant in London on June 3.
In a personal message sent to the naval service, the Queen said: ‘Please convey my warm thanks to all those who serve in the Royal Navy for their kind message of loyal greetings, sent on the occasion of my official birthday and the 60th anniversary of my accession to the throne.
‘In this Diamond Jubilee year, Prince Philip and I send our good wishes to you all. Splice the mainbrace.’
The order dates back to the days of sail when an extra ration of rum was issued for sailors who had completed the arduous task of splicing the mainbrace – one of the most difficult emergency repair jobs aboard a sailing ship.
In the modern age, the order is traditionally issued by the monarch or a senior member of the Royal Family to mark special occasions.
The last time the navy was ordered to splice the mainbrace was at the Trafalgar 200 celebrations in 2005.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope passed on the Queen’s message yesterday.
He said: ‘I am delighted that her Majesty The Queen has recognised the naval service in this way – and am especially pleased with her direction to splice the mainbrace.
‘Make it so – as and when considered appropriate.’