Gun Salute In Portsmouth Harbour

A 21-gun salute was today (Monday 6th February) fired by the Royal Navy today to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

The saluting gun at Fort Blockhouse at Gosport, Hampshire - at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour - was fired at noon by four specialist gunnery instructors from HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

Commander David Hilton, base services manager at Portsmouth Naval Base, said: "It is tradition for the Royal Navy to mark important anniversaries of the Royal Family in this way.

"Also in keeping with tradition, the ships alongside in the naval base will be 'dressed overall' with colourful flags stretching the entire length of the ship."

The custom of Navy gun salutes dates back to the early days of sail when ships visiting foreign ports would discharge their guns before entering, proving they were empty and that the visit was peaceful.

The portable 19th century gun at Fort Blockhouse has been firing salutes since it was acquired by the Navy in 1957.