Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Royal Navy shares White Ensign for Trafalgar anniversary

The Royal Navy normally guards its ensign jealously, but on Thursday evening restrictions on its use will be lifted to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Navy is encouraging businesses, householders and public institutions to fly the ensign over the weekend, the culmination of celebrations marking Britain's greatest naval triumph and the death of Horatio Nelson.

The high point is Trafalgar Day itself, Friday 21 October, the evening of which will see the Queen in Portsmouth lighting the first of hundreds of beacons built across the country. The Prince of Wales will light the second in Ballater on Royal Deeside followed by other members of the Royal Family around the country. The Queen will then attend dinner in the admiral's cabin of HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship.

Earlier in the day, bells will ring out from churches across the Commonwealth and on Royal Navy ships on deployment around the world. The crew of the frigate Chatham will lay a wreath off Cape Trafalgar in the company of Spanish and French warships.


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