Navy salute will mark Queen’s anniversary

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THE Royal Navy will fire a 21-gun salute tomorrow to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

The saluting gun at Fort Blockhouse in Gosport will be fired at 12pm by four specialist gunnery instructors from HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

Commander David Hilton, base services manager at Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘It is tradition for the Royal Navy to mark important anniversaries of the royal family in this way.

‘Also in keeping with tradition, the ships alongside in the naval base will be “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.