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Royal Navy Capital ship visits the capital

HMS Albion is making a rare visit to London
12 September 2021
The UK’s High Readiness Amphibious Assault Ship HMS Albion is making a rare visit to London. The 18,500 tonnes Landing Platform Dock (LPD), which is based in Plymouth, is the only Royal Navy Capital ship that can make the transit upstream along the Thames and will be moored off Greenwich as she supports London’s International Shipping Week and conducts ceremonial duties at the Tower of London.

London is the historic centre of world trade and shipping, standing at the heart of international commerce. From her prime position on the Thames, and set against the backdrop of Greenwich and the O2, HMS Albion will host a number of London International Shipping Week headline events, demonstrating that the UK is open for business and committed to the future of the maritime sector.

A highlight of Albion’s visit will be her Ships Company’s participation in the Ceremony of the Constable of the Dues at the Tower of London on Monday 13th September. The Ceremony of the Constable’s Dues originated in the 14th Century when Richard II decreed any large naval vessel travelling up the River Thames must pay a levy to the Constable of the Tower of London. Today, the levy takes the form of a barrel of wine presented by the ships Commanding Officer.

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to bring Albion to our nation’s great maritime based capital city and support London’s International Shipping Week.

Captain Simon Kelly Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of HMS Albion

Captain Simon Kelly Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of HMS Albion, said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to bring Albion to our nation’s great maritime based capital city and support London’s International Shipping Week. The UK maritime sector contributes £46.1bn to the UK economy and supports over one million jobs. It is responsible for keeping the country supplied with 95% of British imports and exports moving by sea, including 48% of our food supplies.

My team are looking forward to this visit and are very excited about performing the ‘Ceremony of the Dues’ at the Tower of London. As a sailor, marching a keg of wine to the Tower of London to pay our ‘Dues’ is a once in a life time opportunity – I am thrilled that we have this rare privilege”.

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