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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
New Navy HQ open on Trafalgar Day
The ceremony to mark Trafalgar Day took place on the HMS Victory
The Royal Navy's new fleet headquarters has been opened on the 199th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Princess Anne was guest of honour at Thursday's opening of the new 20m Portsmouth offices, which will house 730 military and civilian personnel.

At the same time Trafalgar Day was also celebrated on board Nelson's ship HMS Victory at the city's Navy base.

During the ceremony a laurel wreath was laid on the spot where Admiral Nelson fell when he was shot in the battle.

The event marked the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October, 1805.

Meanwhile Princess Anne toured the new offices of the Commander in Chief Fleet at Portsmouth Naval Base, which are to become a single site for Navy personnel previously spread across centres in London, Bath and Somerset.

The merger is expected to save the Navy about 10m a year in running costs.

HMS Victory, Flagship of the Second Sea Lord, in Portsmouth

The new headquarters has been named The Henry Leach Building in honour of the Admiral of the Fleet and the First Sea Lord during the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Sir Henry persuaded Margaret Thatcher and the War Cabinet that a naval task force would be able to retake the Falkland Islands.

Next year's 200th Trafalgar anniversary celebrations are expected to be on a much larger scale.

They will include a series of events with Portsmouth as the centre of the celebrations.

Victory's Trafalgar sail clean up
03 May 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset
Nelson artefacts make 2m
22 Oct 02  |  England

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