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The Queen visits HMS Sutherland to mark ships 20th anniversary

Queen visits HMS Sutherland
23 October 2017
Her Majesty The Queen has spent the day on board HMS Sutherland in London to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ship's commissioning.

The Queen was welcomed on board the Devonport-based Type 23 frigate today by the ship's Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Canale, and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

It comes after a busy year for HMS Sutherland, which has been regularly deployed over the last 12 months as one of the Royal Navy's high-readiness units.

She has been responsible for escorting a number of Russian warships as they sail past UK territorial waters, and in June she secured the seas for the Royal Navy's biggest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth as she embarked on her maiden sea trials.

"This is a very special day for all who have served in HMS Sutherland and to our affiliates who have supported us over the past 20 years," said Cdr Canale, who previously served as equerry to The Queen from 2012 to 2015.

"Everyone who's served on Sutherland has much to be proud of and we are honoured to be able to mark this occasion in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen."

Everyone who's served on Sutherland has much to be proud of and we are honoured to be able to mark this occasion in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen

Commander Andrew Canale, Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland

The Queen spent time chatting with the flight crew of the ship's embarked Wildcat Helicopter, including Lieutenant Oliver Brooksbank and Lt James Hume, of 815 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton.

They gave The Queen a first-hand account of their experiences while deployed to the Caribbean last month as part of the disaster relief efforts following the devastating hurricanes in the region.

During the royal visit members of the ship's company and their families met the Queen and enjoyed lunch in the ship's hangar.

"Having served for over 25 years in the Royal Navy, I have many good memories of places I have visited and the people I have been lucky to meet," said Warrant Officer Steve Nicholson, the ship's Executive Warrant Officer.

"The honour of meeting Her Majesty the Queen on such a special day in HMS Sutherland's life will be a memory I will tell my children and my future grandchildren for years to come."

The Queen was received on board the Type 23 frigate by the Commanding Officer, First Sea Lord, Sir Donald Gosling, the Lord Lieutenant and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland, the Commander of the Devonport Flotilla, the Naval Regional Commander for Eastern England and several of the ship's previous Commanding Officers.

The ship's company presented The Queen with a framed photograph of HMS Sutherland sailing alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth on her maiden sea voyage - one of the first photographs of HMS Queen Elizabeth in open sea with a Royal Navy escort ship.

HMS Sutherland is alongside at Canary Wharf for a short visit to the capital this week. During that time, the ship will play a football match against the Royal Household and welcome people from local communities on board for ship's tours.

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