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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
New Colour for naval fleet
HMS Ocean
About 20 ships will gather in Plymouth Sound for the occasion
The Queen is to present a new Colour to the Royal Navy fleet in the first ceremony of its kind for more than 30 years.

The presentation will be held on board the warship HMS Ocean at its Plymouth base on 23 July.

To mark the occasion about 20 ships and Royal Navy submarines, including Royal Fleet Auxiliary and commercial ships, are to stage a Fleet gathering in Plymouth Sound.

The ceremony will be only the third Fleet Colour presentation ever held.

Due back

The first Fleet Colour was presented by King George V in 1926 and the second by the Queen in 1969.

The Queen has approved the Royal Navy's use of the Colour - known as the Queen's Colour - which is a double-folded silk White Ensign.

The flag bears a crown and Royal Cypher, with gold and blue silk cord and gold tassels hanging from the ensign staff.

Unlike the Colours of the Army, which carry battle honours and vary in design from regiment to regiment, the Queens' Colours of the Royal Navy do not alter from Command to Command.

HMS Ocean is due back at Devonport Naval Base from operations in the Gulf next week.


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