BENEATH the sunrise, sailors on board the Royal Navy’s last Type 42 destroyer arrived in their namesake city to say a final farewell.
Portsmouth-based HMS Edinburgh is the last in her class and is being decommissioned to make way for six new Type 45s.
After three decades of service, the ship sailed into Leith yesterday for a week-long celebration of her lengthy affiliation with Scotland’s capital city.
Commander Nick Borbone is the ship’s commanding officer.
He said: ‘There is no easy way to bid farewell to a strong affiliation like the one HMS Edinburgh has enjoyed with this most historic city.
‘Scottish hospitality is legendary and throughout the three decades of service which this ship has given, the fondness shown to HMS Edinburgh by the city has grown stronger and stronger.
‘Such support cannot be underestimated and while we will of course feel much sadness, it is also a time for celebration of this long relationship and the great service of this fine ship.’
Tomorrow, members of the crew will exercise their freedom of the city with a parade through Edinburgh’s streets.
At the weekend, members of the public will be invited to go on board.
Cdr Borbone added: ‘We are honoured to be invited to exercise our freedom of the city.
‘We look forward to repaying some of the kindness and support we have had over many years by welcoming people on board for the final time.
‘I know my crew and I are particularly looking forward to meeting everyone.’
HMS Edinburgh will sail from Leith on Tuesday.
She will then stop at Liverpool before making her way home to Portsmouth for a final entry on May 31.