The King and Queen visited HMS Iron Duke on the final part of their three day state visit. They were greeted by crew at a reception aboard the Type 23 frigate in Bordeaux on Friday.
The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines Lympstone provided musical accompaniment on the neighbouring jetty. A Royal Guard and the national anthem greeted the royal couple.
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Once aboard ship – with the Royal Standard hoisted to mark the occasion – Charles and Camilla were led to the warship’s flight deck and welcomed by members of the local Bordeaux community, representatives of veterans charities within the Bordeaux community, and local government officials. The royal guests chatted with guests as well as members of Iron Duke’s 200-strong ship’s company.
Commanding Officer Commander James Wallington-Smith said: “It has been the greatest privilege and honour for HMS Iron Duke to be able to support Their Majesties' first State Visit to France since the Coronation. The visit is an opportunity to mark our long standing relationship with our friends in the Marine Nationale and wider French Armed Forces.
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"It reinforces our shared values and continues to ensure our navies are evolving to be ever more interoperable, capable, and sustainable.” Engineering Technicians Laurynas Berenis and Harrison Smith – responsible for maintaining the frigate’s complex weapons systems and sensors – were among the Royal Guard for The King and Queen.
“It was an honour and a privilege to be part of the Gun Carriage crew for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s funeral,” said Laurynas. “Receiving the RVM from HM the King was a surreal moment that will never be forgotten. To now also be part of the Guard of Honour for His Majesty’s State visit to France is an extremely proud moment.”
Harrison added: “I feel very proud to have been awarded the RVM, and now being a part of the guard of honour for His Majesty The King’s visit to Bordeaux is something I could have only dreamed of." HMS Iron Duke has recently represented the Royal Navy at the DSEI conference in London earlier this month.