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Royal Navy


Her Majesty The Queen will present a new Colour to the Royal Navy at a Fleet Assembly off Plymouth on 23 July 2003.

Planning is underway for the Colour presentation ceremony to take place on board a Royal Navy ship in Plymouth Sound with The Hoe providing a spectacular viewing point and back-drop to this historic event. There will also be a Sail Past.

Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band said: "It will be a huge honour for the Fleet to receive the Colour from Her Majesty and we are all very much looking forward to the event."

Colours have become the symbol of the spirit of a Service, Corps or Regiment. Her Majesty The Queen has graciously approved the use by the Royal Navy of Colours known as The Queens Colour, which is a double folded silk White Ensign.

The flag measures 1.17 metres (44 inches) by 0.9 metres (36 inches) with a crown and Royal Cypher embodied with gold and blue silk cord and gold tassels, which are 1.07 metres (3 foot six inches) in length. This size and design is standard for all Queens Colours presented to the Royal Navy. Unlike the Colours of the Army, which carry battle honours and vary in design from regiment to regiment, The Queens Colours of the Royal Navy do not alter from Command to Command.

There have only been two previous Fleet Colour presentations. The first, was presented by King George V in 1926 and the second, by Queen Elizabeth in 1969. This year's event is being meticulously planned on behalf of the Commander-in-Chief Fleet by Flag Officer Sea Training at Devonport.

The Colours are consecrated before and after service. Continuing the custom for the old colours to be laid up after service in sacred or public building, the old Queen Colour will be laid up, following a special ceremony on 24 July, at the Church of St Nicholas in HMS Drake, Plymouth.

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