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28 October 2014

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Ocean's colour scene: Queen's Colour
The Queen on board HMS Ocean
The ceremony took place on board HMS Ocean anchored in Plymouth Sound
Plymouth Hoe provided a spectacular backdrop when Her Majesty The Queen presented a new Colour to the Royal Navy at a Fleet Assembly.

While in Plymouth The Queen also named the city's new lifeboat.


Photo gallery from the Colour ceremony

Archive gallery from 1969 Colour ceremony

Watch video highlights of The Queen's visit to Plymouth here on demand.
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Did you watch the ceremony - we want to hear your view

The Queen names new Plymouth lifeboat

What is the Queen's Colour?

Look back at the last Fleet Colour ceremony in 1969

Royal Marine's Colours Ceremony 2001

Watch the fleet on the Plymouth webcam


The Royal Navy

Plymouth City Council
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The West Country and the Royal Navy go back a long way. The ships that defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 sailed from the mouth of the River Plym.

As long ago as 1691, a major naval dockyard was established in the River Tamar at Plymouth.

Devonport is the largest naval base in Western Europe. It covers over 650 acres, has 15 dry docks, four miles of waterfront, 25 tidal berths and five basins. The 1,750 civilian and service personnel are committed to the naval base mission "To Support the Fleet Worldwide."

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Her Majesty the Queen presented the Royal Navy with a new Colour during a ceremony on board HMS Ocean in Plymouth Sound.

Thousands of people packed Plymouth Hoe to watch the proceedings from two giant screens.

The Queen - with the Duke of Edinburgh at her side - presented a brand new Colour to the Royal Navy Fleet for only the third time in its history.

Video highlights

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The Colour presentation ceremony took place on the flight deck of HMS Ocean anchored in Plymouth Sound.

The 21,000-tonne Devonport-based helicopter carrier has only recently returned to her home port after playing a crucial role in the Iraq war.

Following the ceremony there was a sail past by Royal Navy frigates and destroyers and a fly past featuring a variety of historic and modern military aircraft.

Crowds gathered to see The Queen
Thousands gathered on Plymouth Hoe to catch a glimpse of The Queen
In total, around 20 ships and submarines of the Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and commercial ships, took part in the spectacle.

It was the biggest ceremonial gathering of Navy ships in Plymouth Sound since June 1905 when 35 warships gathered to commemorate the official birthday of King Edward VII.

Members of the public enjoyed the whole event in close-up via two giant big screens which were erected on The Hoe.

Over the centuries, Colours have become the symbol of the spirit of a service, corps or regiment.

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.

Colours are only presented when the previous flag is old and worn or when the monarch changes.

The Queen dedicating the new Colour
The Queen dedicating the Royal Navy's new Colour
This year’s event was planned on behalf of the Commander-in-Chief Fleet by Flag Officer Sea Training at Devonport.

The last time a Colour presentation was held in Plymouth was in 2001 when Prince Philip officiated at a ceremony for the Royal Marines.

The celebrations attracted thousands of people and numbers are expected to be high for this year's event.

The old Queen's Colour will be laid up in a ceremony to be held the next day, on Thursday July 24. The ceremony will take place at St Nicholas's Church in Devonport Naval Base.

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