IT WAS a special day not only for the crew on board HMS Lancaster, but for their families.
They were invited to Portsmouth to meet the Queen.
It was a real family affair for AB Tom Baker as both his parents and step-parents travelled down from Chester especially for the occasion.
Caroline Brierley, AB Baker’s mum, said: ‘It’s a real honour. It’s really exciting.
‘It’s been so lovely. We got to meet the Queen. She spoke to us, which was lovely.
‘She was absolutely gorgeous. She was so lovely and warm and friendly.
‘She really puts you at ease.’
And the family are grateful for the opportunity to meet the Queen, especially after they missed out last year.
Her Majesty was due to visit the ship when she was in Canary Wharf but had to cancel due to ill health.
Mrs Brierley, 53, added: ‘We are so thrilled. We didn’t think we would get to meet her. It’s like a dream come true. We are really proud.’
AB Baker, 27, said: ‘It’s been exciting. There’s been a lot of planning and preparation for her to come.
‘It makes it extra special for our ship because the Queen is associated with us so we’ve put that extra bit of effort in. We are the Queen’s frigate so all the lads appreciate her coming to see us. It’s been a few years.
‘She spoke to me briefly. She asked me what my job was on board and I told her I drive the ship, so she told me to bring it back!
‘She was very nice, very quiet.
‘It will be a day I will never forget for my entire life.’