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Carrier formally named Prince of Wales today

Credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

The Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier will be formally named after the Prince of Wales today.

Work on the under-construction ship has been halted for the naval tradition which dates back thousands of years and combines a celebration with a solemn blessing.

The naming will be carried out by the Duchess of Cornwall, the ship's sponsor, with a bottle of whisky to be smashed against HMS Prince of Wales at the ceremony in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife, where the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is being fitted out.

Seeing our sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth make her debut in Portsmouth last month was an amazing sight and I look forward to one day bringing HMS Prince of Wales home to the same warm welcome.

Until then the ship's company in Rosyth will continue to grow and they have much to be proud of in all the work they have done so far, working with our civilian industry partners to bring this ship to life.

– Captain Stephen Moorhouse

HMS Monmouth on nine month Mid East tour

HMS Monmouth has left her home port in Plymouth. Credit: Royal Navy

The Royal Navy warship has sailed from her base port, HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth on maritime policing patrol waved off by families braving wet weather.

HMS Monmouth, affectionately known as the Black Duke, has left the UKfor nine months, deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and surroundingareas.

Among the many tasks HMS Monmouth is ready to conduct are maritime security to protect trade routes, defence engagement with the UK’s partners in the gulf and illegal drug interdiction.


HMS Monmouth to visit Wales

Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Monmouth will arrive in South Wales this week for a return visit to her ‘home town’ – for the first time in three years.

The ship will dock in Cardiff on Friday. The ship will be open to the public for tours on Saturday.

On Sunday the crew will take part in a formal military and civic ceremony after marching through the centre of Monmouth to mark the close links of the ship to her namesake town.


Pictures: On board HMS Dragon in Cardiff

First Minister Carwyn Jones and Welsh Secretary David Jones will make a joint visit this morning to Royal Navy warship HMS Dragon, which is at Britannia Quay in Cardiff for five days.

The 152m ship will be receive the Freedom of the City on Sunday.

It's open to the public on Saturday - and our reporter James Crichton-Smith is on board now:

HMS Dragon arrives in Cardiff Bay

The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon has arrived in Cardiff for a five day stay.

It will open for the public and schools around Wales to get a taste of life at sea, and will also receive the Freedom of the City.

HMS Dragon visits Cardiff and receives Freedom of City honour

HMS Dragon will be in Britannia Quay for five days Credit: Royal Navy

Royal Navy ship HMS Dragon will sail into Cardiff today for five days. Whilst in the capital it will receive the honour of the Freedom of the City of Cardiff; only the 10th organisation to do so since records began in 1886.

From Thursday hundreds of schools and colleges will be allowed to go aboard the 152-metre ship, and it will be open to the public on Saturday.

A formal ceremony will take place in the city centre on Sunday to mark the confer of the Freedom of the City.

HMS Dragon's Commanding Officer, Captain Rex Cox said: "It's a real honour for HMS Dragon to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Cardiff. I know all of the Ship's Company are especially proud of our links to the city and to Wales. Moments like these are very important in the life of a ship.

"Our friendship and affiliations with organisations across the country, in particular Wales, give a ship an unbreakable link to our society and as sailors come and go, these links will outlast us all and become a part of HMS Dragon's history."

The crew say they are looking forward to welcoming local people between 10 and 4pm on Saturday, talking to them about the ship, her role with the Royal Navy, and more broadly, as part of NATO and allied forces across the world.

WWII veteran returns to shores of Pacific

John Williams will be returning to the Pacific this year to recall the role he played during WW2 Credit: Big Lottery Fund

A World War II veteran from north Wales is to return to the shores of the Pacific to recall the role he played during his service.

John Clifford Williams from Betws Gwerfil Goch near Corwen will fly to Australia later this year thanks to a scheme being run by the Big Lottery Fund called Heroes Return 2.

Cliff as he's known to family and friends was called up to the Royal Navy in 1942 and sailed on the Dominion Monarch troopship, one of the fastest ships of her time during the War.

He returned to Britain in 1946 having worked at Royal Naval Repair Base in Sydney.

John Williams was 17 when he was called up to the Royal Navy in 1942 Credit: John Williams

The Big Lottery Fund say it's extending the scheme until 2015 - the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII - and is appealing for more veterans to come forward who want to return to the served at during the war.

The cash to make this happen has come from the Big Lottery Fund and the 82-year-old's trip is scheduled for October.

The scheme - Heroes Return 2 - has also been extended to June 2015 - the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2 and the BLF wants more veterans to come forward to make the most of the limited opportunity.

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