WITH 21 deafening blasts, the Royal Navy marked the 63rd anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
A 21-gun salute was fired yesterday at noon from Fort Blockhouse in Gosport at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.
Four specialist gunnery instructors from HMS Collingwood in Fareham gathered to fire the saluting gun, along with others around the country.
Commander David Hilton, the base services manager at Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘It is tradition for the 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.