Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Gun salutes to mark prince's birth

The Honourable Artillery Company prep their kit and personnel at Armoury House for the royal gun salute from the Tower of London
The Honourable Artillery Company prep their kit and personnel at Armoury House for the royal gun salute from the Tower of London

Gun salutes will sound across London to mark the birth of the royal baby as the armed forces join in the celebrations.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company will carry out the ceremonial royal salutes in honour of the new addition to the Royal Family.

Gun salutes are fired for the birth of every prince or princess, no matter where their place is in the line of succession, the Ministry of Defence said. The last royal salute for a birth was for Princess Eugenie in 1990.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, wearing full dress uniform, will ride past Buckingham Palace to Green Park where they will stage a 41-gun royal salute.

They will ride from their forward mounting base in Wellington Barracks into Green Park, where 71 horses will pull six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into position for the royal salute at 2pm. Each of the six guns will fire blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals until 41 shots have been fired. The horses and riders will then collect the guns and escort them back to Wellington Barracks.

Major Mark Edward, commanding officer of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, said: "The opportunity to mark the birth of the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by firing a 41-gun royal salute comes as a huge honour for the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery."

The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), the City of London's Army Reserve Regiment, will fire a 62-gun salute from Gun Wharf at the Tower of London at 2pm. Whilst a royal gun salute normally comprises 21 guns, this is increased to 41 if fired from a royal park or residence. Uniquely, at the Tower of London, which is a royal residence, 62 rounds are fired as this also includes an additional 21 guns for the citizens of the City of London to show their loyalty to the monarch.

Celebrations are not confined to London, as all of Her Majesty's ships - in home or international waters - are flying the Royal Navy Ensign flag from their mast to mark the birth of the prince. HMS Lancaster, deployed on a patrol task in the Caribbean, added its own congratulatory message to the Duke and Duchess, spelling out "It's A Boy!" on the deck of the ship. Commanding officer Commander Steve Moorhouse said: "As 'the Queen's Frigate' we were particularly delighted to hear the fantastic news of the royal birth and everybody on board HMS Lancaster sends their warmest congratulations and best wishes to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge."

Staff from RAF Valley, where Prince William serves as a search and rescue pilot, were among the first to offer their congratulations. Station commander Group Captain Adrian Hill sent a congratulatory message to the couple on behalf of RAF Valley. "We're all delighted to learn that Flight Lieutenant Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge are now proud parents of a newborn son," he said. "We wish them all the very best for the future. From everyone at RAF Valley, congratulations."

The Ministry of Defence said other units connected to WIlliam also marked the birth, including the Army regiment he was commissioned into from Sandhurst, the Household Cavalry, which is partly deployed in Afghanistan. The Irish Guards, of which William is the colonel, toasted the birth with a traditional glass of Irish stout at their barracks in Aldershot and at bases in London.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence(Ministry of Defence)

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