Half a century after he passed out of Britannia Royal Naval College, the Prince of Wales returned to salute a new generation of Royal Navy leaders today (16th December).
Prince Charles was guest of honour at the annual Lord High Admiral’s Divisions – the final passing out parade of the year at the spiritual home of Royal Navy Officer training in Dartmouth, Devon.
The future King took the Royal Salute from the parade and was invited to inspect the passing out Divisions – a mix of fresh Royal Navy Officer Cadets and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Officers, plus sailors commissioned from the ranks.
For the Prince of Wales it was a reminder of the beginning of his five-year Royal Navy career. He passed through the same college doors in September 1971 – following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and both his great-grandfathers.
His time at Dartmouth was followed by service on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates, HMS Minerva, and HMS Jupiter, he then qualified as a helicopter pilot flying Wessex Mk5 with 845 Naval Air Squadron from the Commando carrier HMS Hermes.
The Prince’s final appointment in February 1976 was command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington for his last nine months with the Royal Navy.
Photographer: LPhot Rob Oates – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021