ROYALTY will be coming to Portsmouth this week to mark the 30th anniversary of the arrival of HMS Warrior to the city.
Princess Alexandra – who is the battleship’s patron – will visit the maritime attraction on Thursday.
She will meet staff and volunteers of the HMS Warrior Preservation Trust.
It comes about two years after her last visit to the site, in 2015, where she formally opened the Heritage Lottery Fund Project awarded to undertake vital repairs on the 19th century warship.
As part of her latest trip, Princess Alexandra will be getting an update on how the £2.6m repair scheme is going.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: ‘When Warrior made her triumphant return back to Portsmouth in 1987, she was greeted with an armada of small boats, guns firing, cheering crowds, a fireworks show and thousands of red, white and blue balloons which filled the air.
‘We can’t promise this sort of welcome for HRH, but it will certainly be a warm one.’
HMS Warrior was launched in 1860 and was the pride of Queen Victoria’s notorious Black Battle fleet.
She is the world’s first iron-hulled, armoured battleship. At the time, she was the largest and fastes warship of her day.
The most recent work to preserve her has seen improvements made to her bulwarks and water bar – the watertight join between the deck and iron hull.