Queen’s approval for smuggler-busting ship

Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen will visit HMS Lancaster next month.

Her Majesty will view the Type 23 frigate at Portsmouth on May 20.

A spokesman for the royal press office said there were no further details yet about the visit, but it was understood the Queen would be only be visiting the ship.

The Queen is the ship’s sponsor as the Duke of Lancaster and takes a keen interest in her deeds around the globe.

Commander Peter Laughton, Commanding Officer of HMS Lancaster: said: ‘We are honoured to be hosting a visit from our Lady Sponsor, Her Majesty The Queen, who launched the ship in 1990.

“It provides us with an excellent opportunity to update Her Majesty on HMS Lancaster’s recent activities including our successful counter-narcotic deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean.’

MS Lancaster was built by the Yarrow yard (today BAE Systems) on the Clyde as the fourth of 16 Type 23 frigates and joined the Fleet in Portsmouth in 1992.

The ship is mainly used in Caribbean drug-busting or east of Suez ensuring freedom of the seas.

On returning from those deployments she is greeted, wherever possible, by a Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which provides a fly past over Portsmouth Harbour.

The ship returned to Portsmouth last December following a successful seven-month deployment where she helped to seize drugs worth £160m.

HMS Lancaster also detained numerous smugglers and significantly disrupted the regular flow of drugs around the Caribbean Sea.

Lancaster will operate primarily in UK waters this year and will be ready to deploy again in 2015.