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A ’rose for Her Majesty: Montrose honours Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with sail-past in Solent
25 July 2012

HMS Montrose today took part in the final day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour of her kingdom.

The Devonport-based frigate escorted the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, aboard the superyacht Leander, as the Royal couple visited the Isle of Wight.

One for the album... A sightseer takes a picture of Montrose during the sail-past. Pictures: LA(Phot) Arron Hoare, Peregrine Trophy Winner 2012

THE seemingly never-ending summer of celebration continued today with HMS Montrose joining in the final day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour.

The Devonport-based frigate had the honour of escorting Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh aboard the yacht Leander as the Queen inspected the Parade of Sail during the Cowes leg of the Superyacht Cup.

And while the rain dogged many jubilee events earlier in the summer – and put paid to Fleet Air Arm fly past – not so today for proceedings were blessed by a brilliant sky.

And they were blessed by a warship in brilliant condition. Spick and span from a recent period of maintenance, Montrose joined the Leander west of Cowes ready to accompany the 250ft vessel – which is owned by one of the RN’s greatest benefactors, Sir Donald Gosling, honorary Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral to the United Kingdom.

Montrose sailed in company with the superyacht and after the sail past, the frigate’s company paid their respects to their monarch in time-honoured tradition.

Dressed in their finest No.1 uniforms and lining the upper deck, the men and women of Montrose ‘manned and cheered ship’ as the frigate conducted her own sail past of the Leander, while a 12-strong Guard of Honour paraded on the upper deck.

As the Royal Party prepared to sail into Cowes, the warship steamed past Leander and three cheers rang across the harbour.

“The opportunity to show off the ship and her crew at such a high-profile event is rare – we all feel now as if we’ve been an active part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

“My sailors were extremely proud to be able to honour their Commander-in-Chief in such a unique manner.”

As Montrose has been based in Devonport throughout her 20-year life, she’s apparently spent more time in the Somali Basin and South Atlantic than the Solent (unlike six of her Portsmouth-based sisters – the Type 23 frigate flotilla is split between the two great South Coast bases).