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Royal Windsor welcomes the Royal Navy

27 November 2017
Sailors from the Royal Navy made history today as they marched through the ancient streets of the Royal Borough of Windsor. They were parading along the traditional route normally taken by the Household Division's Five Guards regiments who have guarded the reigning Monarch at the Castle for over four centuries.

But for the next few weeks the honour of the Queen's Royal Guard has been entrusted to the Senior Service who, dressed in distinctive navy blue greatcoats with white webbing and caps, set out to impress the residents.

"It's a very proud moment for me," said Lieutenant Commander Nicola Cripps (36) who grew up in the Borough and went to Newlands Girls School in Maidenhead.

She has served in the Royal Navy as a Training Management Officer for nearly 13 years and is the first Royal Navy officer to be Captain of the Windsor Castle Guard.

"Everywhere we go, people have said how pleased they are to see the Royal Navy mounting the Guard, and it is a tremendous honour, not just for my sailors, but the Naval Service as a whole."

The Royal duties they carry out after today's inaugural procession will showcase the flexibility of the Royal Navy to operate with and support the Foot Guards who are currently based at the town's Victoria Barracks. 

The sight of sailors undertaking public duties in our capital city is a sign that the Royal Navy is back where it belongs, at the very heart of national life.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones

Together with Royal Navy detachments at Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and St James's Palace in London, their tour of duty is set to last until 8 December, when they will return to their ships and establishments across the country and on operations around the world.

"This will be one of the highlights in my service career and I'm quite sure that everyone in today's Guard will be telling their grandchildren in years to come what an honour it was," added Nicola.

On 7 December Her Majesty the Queen will travel to Portsmouth to commission the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth will become the Nation's flagship and will lead aircraft operations for the next 50 years.

Head of the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC reiterated what an honour it was for the Service to conduct state ceremonial duties in London.

“It is fitting that the Royal Navy has been granted the honour of mounting the Queen’s Guard to coincide with the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth. As an island nation, the Royal Navy has always been an expression of our national character.

“The sight of sailors undertaking public duties in our capital city is a sign that the Royal Navy is back where it belongs, at the very heart of national life.

"These young men and women are some of the finest ambassadors we could wish for and I know they will make the Navy and the Nation proud."

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