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Royal Yacht Squadron Fleet Review – a spectacle of yachts and royal visitors - The Duke of Edinburgh - The Commodore of the RYS Christopher Sharples - The Countess of Wessex
His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, was joined by other members of the British Royal Family and European Royal families yesterday to conduct a Review of 180 yachts belonging to members of the Royal Yacht Squadron, off Cowes, Isle of Wight. The event was held to commemorate the bicentenary of the historic club which was inaugurated on 1st June 1815 at the Club’s first meeting in St James’s, London.

In excess of 180 private sailing and motor boats of all sizes belonging to Royal Yacht Squadron members provided a real spectacle dressed overall, from the smallest RIB to sailing superyachts and the two royal yachts, from Norway the Norge (built in 1947) and from Denmark the Dannebrog (built in 1932). Also present were the 75m motor yacht Leander and recently restored 1938 built Shemara. Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland and Galitea were in attendance.

The Duke of Edinburgh was joined during the day by other members of the British Royal Family including HRH The Princess Royal, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The Fleet Review was part of a varied programme of celebrations by the Royal Yacht Squadron both on and off the water taking place during 2015.

Other Royal visitors included HM King Harald of Norway, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, TM King Constantine II of Greece and Queen Anne-Marie, HM King Juan Carlos of Spain and HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark, as well as the Aga Khan.

Spectators both ashore and afloat enjoyed glimpses of the Royal guests as The Duke and Prince Michael of Kent proceeded between the rows of moored members’ yachts in a pair of naval P2000 vessels, to salute each in turn. Later in the day the royal party came ashore and attended a church service conducted by the Bishop of Portsmouth at Trinity Church tucked just behind the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The highlight of the day for the public crowd which had gathered on the Parade and the club members was the Beating Retreat conducted by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood on the Parade at Cowes. The Royal Party were seated in the evening sunshine on the Parade as the salute was taken by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Royals rounded off the day by returning to the Castle for a private dinner.

The Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Christopher Sharples, accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh during the day. He commented “His Royal Highness clearly enjoyed himself enormously. As a keen sailor himself and past Commodore he retains a strong affinity with the Squadron which he demonstrated yesterday by his enthusiastic support of our bicentenary.”

Photo : Hoare Photojournalism
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