WATCH: HMS Elizabeth fires 96-gun salute in memory of HM Elizabeth II

WATCH: HMS Elizabeth fires 96-gun salute in memory of HM Elizabeth II

Image of the gun salute on board HMS Elizabeth. Credit: Twitter@DefenceHQ

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth fired a 96-gun salute in memory of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

A 96-gun salute was fired by HMS Queen Elizabeth this Friday, September 9, as a mark of respect for the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The £3billion aircraft carrier joined with guns that fired similar tributes on five other British vessels.

Gun salutes also took place in Gibraltar, as well as at Hillsborough, Edinburgh, and Cardiff castles, along with York and Portsmouth, covering all four nations of the UK.

The Queen was Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as well as the Head of State and Supreme Head of the Church of England. Images taken from a Merlin Mk2 helicopter showed the moment the guns were fired, released online by the Ministry of Defence.

Such salutes are historically fired as a mark of respect or welcome, both on land and at sea, mostly associated with royal occasions. According to MoD sources, this tradition dates back as far as the 14th century.

At 1pm on Friday, September 9, the Death Gun Salute was fired in London’s in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns were pulled into Hyde Park by 36 horses, in a troop of 71.

Simultaneously, the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) made the same salute at the Tower of London. This involved one round being fired every 10 seconds, with a total of 96 shots, representing the number of years of the Queen’s life. Similar salutes were carried out at saluting stations at home and abroad.

‘It has been an honour and privilege for the Honourable Artillery Company to have played our part in commemorating the life of Her Majesty The Queen, our Captain-General. In this period of national mourning, our thoughts are with the royal family’, said Major Matt Aldridge, Battery Commander of the Honourable Artillery Company.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the Chief of the Defence Staff acknowledged that the Queen ‘understood better than most the burdens and the glory of a life in uniform’. Service personnel ‘must perform their final duty to a much-loved sovereign’ in the coming days’, he said, adding: ‘We do so with admiration and gratitude’.

‘On behalf of our armed forces, I would like to express our condolences to His Majesty the King, and to the royal family’, Admiral Radakin posted on Thursday evening on the Twitter account of the MoD.

‘The relationship between the Queen and the armed forces was deeply personal. Through her own service in the Second World War, and as the wife, mother, and grandmother of service personnel, the Queen understood better than most the burdens and the glory of life in uniform’, added the Royal navy officer.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at