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Royal Navy in hot water as weapons point at Michelle Obama’s hotel

ALARM HMS Edinburgh alongside in Cape Town in June with her ceremonial Sea Dart missiles pointing at the Presidential Suite of the Table Bay Hotel

ALARM HMS Edinburgh alongside in Cape Town in June with her ceremonial Sea Dart missiles pointing at the Presidential Suite of the Table Bay Hotel

 

SPOOKED US Secret Service agents told a Royal Navy warship to stop pointing its missiles at Michelle Obama’s hotel room while sailors were holding a ceremony to mark the death of a colleague.

The First Lady and her children were on an official visit to Cape Town, South Africa, when HMS Edinburgh came into port with her ceremonial Sea Dart missiles on show.

The ship had the drill weapons out because it was carrying out the repatriation of an officer who had died on the ship just days before.

But US officials were concerned about the missiles pointing at the five-star Table Bay Hotel where Mrs Obama was staying, as pictured on the front page.

A source said the burly agents told sailors: ‘You can’t point those guns at the First Lady,’ before it was explained to them the US President’s family was not at risk.

Details have just emerged of the incident on June 24.

At the time, the Edinburgh was at Procedure Alpha – a ceremonial routine – for the repatriation of Lieutenant Sara Hellawell, 26, whose body was discovered in her cabin on June 16.

Ex-Royal Navy officer Mike Critchley, publisher of Warship World magazine, said: ‘This is typical American Secret Service going over the top. I would have thought they could trust their British allies to not put a missile through the bedroom window of the First Lady.

‘It is unfortunate that this happened at an extremely sad time for the ship.’

A Royal Navy spokesman said: ‘The ship was at Procedure Alpha because she was carrying out a repatriation.

‘This involved the drill missiles being on their launcher. American officials did visit the ship. They simply wanted to know if the missiles were live. When it was explained that they were drill rounds they went away content.’

A White House spokesman said: ‘We do not comment on security questions regarding the First Lady.’

 

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