Last destroyer returns home

HMS Edinburgh, the last of the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyers, is due to return to her home base of Portsmouth today for the final time.

REPORT: End of an era for HMS Edinburgh

While Henry VIII's historic Mary Rose has been making the headlines, it's not the only warship in the news.

The last of the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyers, HMS Edinburgh, returned to her home base of Portsmouth today for the final time today.

Next week, the 30-year-old ship will be decommissioned, as the Type 42s make way for the new generation of Type 45s.

Our reporter Richard Jones was on board for the ship's final days at sea. He speaks to Chief Petty Officer Steve Edwards, Air Welfare Officer Tom McKay, Able Seaman Katie Hickman and Leading Hand Stuart Goodman.

PICTURES: 'A fitting end' for HMS Edinburgh

HMS Edinburgh approaches Portsmouth. Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Edinburgh, the Royal Navy’s last remaining Type 42 destroyer, has returned to her home port of Portsmouth for the final time today.

The 30-year-old warship, which has clocked up almost 800,000 miles, is officially decommissioned on June 6 as the Type 42s make way for the next-generation Type 45s.

Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, responds with a gun salute. Credit: Royal Navy

In keeping with Navy tradition, the ship was flying a decommissioning pennant on her final return and was accompanied by HMS Defender - one of the Navy’s successor Type 45s.

Edinburgh fired a 21-gun salute as she approached the harbour and the saluting gun at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, responded in a similar fashion.

HMS Edinburgh at Portsmouth. Credit: Royal Navy

Edinburgh’s Commanding Officer, Commander Nick Borbone, said: “After the success of her final operational deployment in March, this has been a fitting finale to an illustrious career for HMS Edinburgh."

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Final journey for HMS Edinburgh

Crew lines up on board HMS Edinburgh Credit: ITV Meridian

A piper has played and a 21 gun salute has been fired to welcome a veteran of the Royal Navy back to Portsmouth for the last time. HMS Edinburgh began her final journey into her home port at the end of an illustrious 30 years of service in the fleet.

A 21 gun salute for HMS Edinburgh Credit: ITV Meridian

She's the last of 14 Type 42 destroyers - two of her sister ships, Coventry and Sheffield, were sunk during the Falklands War. Edinburgh will be decommissioned next week and then be put up for sale. She'll almost certainly be sent for scrap.

Many of the sailors who served in Edinburgh lined the harbourside to welcome her home for the last time. She was escorted into Portsmouth by HMS Defender, one of six Type 45 destroyers replacing Edinburgh and the 45s.