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HMS Queen Elizabeth fires 96 gun salutes to mark Queen’s death

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Britain’s £3 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth fired a 96-gun salute on Friday to mark the Queen’s death after guns were fired at the castles of Cardiff, Edinburgh and Hillsborough, as well as Gibraltar following news of the death. of the elderly monarch.

Photos supplied by the Ministry of Defence, taken from a Merlin Mk2 helicopter, show 820 Naval Air Squadron firing the salutes in tribute to the Queen, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Head of State and Chief of the Church of England.

Salutes were fired at five other ships, as well as locations including Cardiff Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Hillsborough Castle, York, Portsmouth and Gibraltar.

Similar gun salutes were fired on the occasion of the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

Presentation Ministry of Defense aerial photo of the 96 gun salutes taken from a Merlin Mk2 helicopter of 820 Naval Air Squadron aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth

Photos provided by the Ministry of Defense, taken from a Merlin Mk2 helicopter, show 820 Naval Air Squadron firing the salutes in tribute to the Queen, who was Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, as well as Head of State and Chief of the Church of England

Photos provided by the Ministry of Defense, taken from a Merlin Mk2 helicopter, show 820 Naval Air Squadron firing the salutes in tribute to the Queen, who was Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, as well as Head of State and Chief of the Church of England

The £3 billion British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth fired a 96-gun salute on Friday to mark the Queen's death.

The £3 billion British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth fired a 96-gun salute on Friday to mark the Queen’s death.

Camilla, Charles and Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Color on June 2, 2022

Camilla, Charles and Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Color on June 2, 2022

The salutes: how teams of horses pull guns before making roaring salutes on royal occasions – from births and deaths to the opening of parliament

On special days, royal salutes are fired from various locations in London and the UK. In London, gun salutes are fired from the Tower of London, and also from Hyde Park or Green Park, depending on the occasion.

The basic salute is 21 shots fired at ten second intervals, but in Hyde Park an additional 20 are fired because it is a Royal Park.

Teams of horses gallop through the park, pulling six thirteen-pounder cannons across the grass at high speed. The cannons are quickly disconnected and on command fire thumping blanks that reverberate through the ground and send a cloud of white smoke into the sky.

In the parks, The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery fires the gun salute, with the first round usually fired in the afternoon. The salute at the Tower of London is fired at 1pm by the Honorable Artillery Company from four twenty-five pounder guns located at Tower Wharf opposite the River Thames.

When are salutes fired?

Salutes are fired to mark various occasions, including:

  • Accession Day – February 6
  • The Queen’s Birthday – April 21
  • Coronation Day – June 2
  • The Queen’s Official Birthday – a Saturday in June
  • The Prince of Wales’s Birthday – November 14th
  • The State Opening of Parliament – usually November or December
  • Prorogation of Parliament
  • Royal births, for example for Prince George and Princess Charlotte
  • Meeting of a visiting Head of State and the Sovereign in London, Windsor or Edinburgh

Salutes are commonly fired, both on land and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome. Today, gun salutes mark special occasions on certain days of the year, many with royal associations.

Salutes take place on royal anniversaries including Accession Day, the monarch’s birthday, coronation day, the monarch’s official birthday, the state opening of parliament, royal births and when a visiting head of state meets the monarch in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.

The Department of Defense said the tradition of gun salutes routinely fired across the country to mark important national events dates back centuries, and there were historical records of gun salutes dating as far back as the 14th century, when guns and ammunition were on large quantities. scale were used.

Friday at 1pm, the Death Gun Salute was fired at 1pm on Friday in London, as well as other locations in the UK and salute stations at home and abroad. One shot was fired every 10 seconds, with 96 shots representing one shot for each year of the Queen’s life.

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired the Death Gun Salute at Hyde Park, while simultaneously firing the Death Gun Salute at the Tower of London by the Honorable Artillery Company (HAC).

About 71 horses made their way to Hyde Park, 36 of which were pulling six World War I 13-pounder field guns.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is a British Army-mounted ceremonial unit that fires royal salutes on royal anniversaries and state occasions, such as state visits and royal birthdays.

Dating back to 1537, the HAC is the oldest regiment in the British Army. It took over the role of firing gun salutes from the Tower of London in 1924.

Major Matt Aldridge, Battery Commander, Honorable Artillery Company, said: ‘It was an honor and privilege for the Honorable Artillery Company to have played our part in commemorating the life of Her Majesty The Queen, our Captain General. At this time of national mourning, our thoughts are with the royal family.”

It comes as the Chief of Defense Staff said the Queen “understood better than most the burdens and glory of a life in uniform.”

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said military personnel must “discharge their last duty to a beloved sovereign” in the coming days, adding: “We do this with admiration and gratitude.”

In a statement posted on the Defense Ministry’s Twitter page on Thursday evening, he said: “On behalf of our armed forces, I would like to extend our condolences to His Majesty the King and the Royal Family.

‘The relationship between the Queen and the armed forces was deeply personal. Through her own service in World War II, and as the wife, mother and grandmother of the military personnel, the Queen understood better than anyone the burdens and glory of life in uniform.

The Death Gun Salute is fired at the Tower of London by the Honorable Artillery Company

The Death Gun Salute is fired at the Tower of London by the Honorable Artillery Company

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery prepares for a 96-gun salute at 1:00 PM in Hyde Park

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery prepares for a 96-gun salute at 1:00 PM in Hyde Park

The 105th Regiment Royal Artillery, The Scottish and Ulster Gunners fire a 96 gun salute at 1pm in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II at Edinburgh Castle

The 105th Regiment Royal Artillery, The Scottish and Ulster Gunners fire a 96 gun salute at 1pm in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II at Edinburgh Castle

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace attends the Death Gun Salute fired at the Tower of London along with Admiral Sir Antony David Radakin, a senior Royal Navy officer

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace attends the Death Gun Salute fired at the Tower of London along with Admiral Sir Antony David Radakin, a senior Royal Navy officer

The Death Gun Salute is fired at the Tower of London by the Honorable Artillery Company

The Death Gun Salute is fired at the Tower of London by the Honorable Artillery Company

“Over the next few days, our sailors, soldiers and airmen must perform their last duty to a beloved sovereign. We do this with admiration and gratitude. For those of us who now have the privilege of wearing the King’s uniform, there is no greater honor than to serve our Crown and our country.’

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston also paid tribute to the Queen, saying she was a “pillar of strength to all who had the privilege of serving her”.

In a statement on his official Twitter page, he said: “It is with overwhelming sadness that the Royal Air Force and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force mourn the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

During her long and glorious reign she was the embodiment of a life devoted to the service of the nation and the Commonwealth, and for this she was admired by millions around the world.

“Her Majesty, as Chief of the Armed Forces, has been a constant source of inspiration and a mainstay to all who have had the privilege of serving her. Those who had the honor of meeting Her Majesty will never forget their interaction and the deep sense of pride they felt in that moment.

“On behalf of all in the Royal Air Force, serving, retired, and their families, I offer our deepest condolences to His Majesty the King and the Royal Family.”

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