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The Princess Royal visits HMS Venturer in Rosyth

As Sponsor of the Royal Navy’s newest frigate, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has visited HMS Venturer in Rosyth.

Above: Babcock CEO David Lockwood, welcomed Her Royal Highness to the Rosyth site.
Courtesy Royal Navy

Her Royal Highness met those responsible for constructing the UK’s first Type 31 warship, as well as the sailors charged with breathing life into the 455ft vessel and turning her into a working warship ready to serve around the globe.

Venturer is the latest Royal Navy warship sponsored by The Princess Royal – who is also Royal Sponsor of Devonport-based assault ship HMS Albion. The Princess Royal is also Commodore-in-Chief of Portsmouth Naval Base and Chief Commandant of Women in the Royal Navy among numerous long-standing associations with the Senior Service.

As Ship’s Sponsor, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne will have an opportunity to be the Guest of Honour at key moments in HMS Venturer’s life, such as the naming and commissioning ceremonies and will receive regular updates on the ship’s deeds and the activities of around 115 men and women on board.

Today, with the frigate under construction, the ship’s company numbers just 12 souls, who were introduced to their new sponsor as The Princess Royal toured both the assembly facility and Venturer herself.

The frigate is more than two years into her construction with the hull and much of the superstructure complete in a cavernous, state-of-the-art assembly facility where defence firm Babcock is building all five ships in the Type 31 Inspiration class under contract with the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

When completed, Venturer and her four sister ships will perform widespread duties around the globe: anything from operating independently on maritime security patrols to escorting the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier strike groups to operating side-by-side with the UK’s partners and allies.

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To complete the visit, Her Royal Highness presented two Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to two of HMS Venturer’s ship’s company, including Leading Hand Adam Duncan, the ship’s newest and most junior member. Adam said “It was an honour to be presented with the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal by The Princess Royal during her visit to Venturer as recognition of my continued service.”

Above: Before leaving Rosyth, HRH The Princess Royal, as Royal Sponsor, joined the ship’s company in front of the frigate’s bow for a group photograph.
Courtesy Royal Navy

“It is an honour for HMS Venturer to have Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as the Ship’s Sponsor,” said Commander Chris Cozens, the new frigate’s Senior Naval Officer. “Her Royal Highness is an inspirational person and befitting as the figure head to lead the Type 31 Inspiration Class into service alongside the Ship’s Company.

“Today’s visit comes at a transitional period between the final large sections being lifted into place in the build hall and the beginning of the fitting out before a launch at the end of the year. We welcome Her Royal Highness once again into the Royal Navy family.”

Babcock Chief Executive Officer David Lockwood, who welcomed Her Royal Highness to the defence company’s Rosyth site, introduced her to some of his employees involved in the Type 31 programme both in the UK and overseas (the Polish Navy is building three export versions of the frigate), including Ship Build Director Neil Bennet (above right).

David said: “It was a privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to our Rosyth site, as Ship’s Sponsor, to see the progress on HMS Venturer.

“The Inspiration class is an important addition to the UK’s defence and as capability partner, Babcock is proudly delivering these vessels to the Royal Navy fleet, while providing many opportunities in the UK supply chain and within local communities, including more than 1000 new job opportunities here at Rosyth in the next four years.”

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