Day two of Holyrood Week got underway today, as The Duke of Cambridge spent the morning in Glasgow.
The Earl of Strathearn, as William is known as in Scotland, made a visit to the BAE Systems Yard in Govan to see how work is going on the construction of new Type 26 warships. The visit was originally planned for May but was postponed due to Covid restrictions.
Upon arrival, the Royal met with staff who are working on HMS Glasgow, which he later toured. He was informed by them that the two halves of the shop had just been welded together, which impressed him. “It’s a real feat to be able to sandwich these two together,” he told them.
After going inside the ship and touring it, William gave a speech to all those gathered – staff and senior executives at BAE. He told them all that it was ‘real honour to see the Navy’s incredible new Type 26 ships under construction’.
He continued: “The scale of achievement is truly staggering, and all the staff I’ve met here today are rightly proud of what you are doing. Proud not just because you are creating these cutting-edge ships, but because you are supporting the Royal Navy and the national security of the United Kingdom.”
Speaking of the Royal Navy, The Earl of Strathearn could not help but think ‘my grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh’, throughout the visit. The Duke of Edinburgh served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, being appointed a midshipman in January 1940 before becoming sub-lieutenant in February 1941 and finally Lieutenant in July 1942.
After the war, and his marriage, he became lieutenant-commander in 1950. Despite his active career in the Navy ending in 1951, he became a commander in 1952.
The Duke had a soft spot for the Navy and continued to be a supporter and advocate for it through this long life. He was proud of his Navy past and wore the uniform proudly on all occasions when a uniform was required.
“He would have been fascinated and excited to see such advances in skills and technology being put into practice,” William said.
“My family’s affection for the Royal Navy is well known,” he told the gathered crowd, and it is to continue. The Earl announced: “Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of my wife Catherine as sponsor of the superb ship we see taking shape outside – HMS Glasgow”.
Kate will visit Glasgow herself in ‘due course’ for the naming ceremony, which traditionally involves breaking a bottle of champagne across the hull of the ship.
Following the speech, the Earl took part in a steel cutting ceremony. Pressing a button, the future King started the underwater work which marks the beginning of the creation of Belfast, a City Class Type 26 global combat ship.
A sunny day in Glasgow didn’t only showcase the amazing future of the Royal Navy, but also the past, present, and future support they enjoy from the Royal Family.