RN VETERANS MCC
Whilst the RN does not swear an allegiance to the throne it does swear allegiance to the office of the Lord High Admiral. From 1964 to 2011 the LHA has been Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Since 2011 the LHA has been HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Flag of the Lord High Admiral.
The earliest recorded naval battle honour is ARMADA 1588, the defeat of the Spanish Armada at Gravelines by a combined British-Dutch fleet.
The earliest battle honour in the Army is TANGIER 1662–80 granted to the 2nd Regt of Foot, now The Princess of Wales's Royal Regt, the senior English regiment in the UK (after the Royal Scots, the senior British Regt), for their protracted 23-year defence of the Colony of Tangier. The battle honour is still held by the Princess of Wales's Royal Regt. During these early years of the British standing army it was needed only to engage the enemy with musketry for eligibilty for a battle honour. Older battle honours are carried on the standards of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, neither of which are part of the army, but are instead the Sovereign's Bodyguard, in the personal service of the Sovereign.
The first ever Ark Royal was originally named Ark Raleigh after Sir Walter Raleigh who originally owned her.
Queen Elizabeth I purchased her for £5000 in 1587 and renamed her Ark Royal. Her new commander, Lord High Admiral of England Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, known as Lord Howard of Effingham, described the sum as "money well given".
Her first action came in 1588 during the attack of the Spanish Armada, when Ark Royal, as one of the largest vessels in the English fleet, was the flagship of the Lord High Admiral.
In 1603, on the accession of James VI and I to the English throne, Ark Royal was renamed Anne Royal, after his consort, Anne of Denmark.
So, after establishing that the core part of our Club Colours is the fouled anchor, we find that the Lord High Admiral Lord Howard of Effingham had it as it family seal but that it was retained for future Naval use after his retirement. Lord Howard of Effingham was the Commander of Ark Royal during the battle against the Spanish Armada at Gravelines in 1588 which is also the oldest recognised battle honour in the British Military. It was then noted that Ark Royal became Anne Royal in 1603 when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England and brought about the Union of Scotland and England(& Wales & Ireland) which brought about the first Union Flag. The Colours of the RNVMCC are Navy Blue,White and Red - The correct order of the colours of the new Flag of the Union as the Scottish Saltire of St Andrew was laid down first with the cross of St George overlaid second as the King's new flag. This new flag configuration became known as the Flag of the Union (aka Union Flag) and then subsequently the Union Jack (Jack being a familiar derivative of the name James). This flag is flown from a Jack Staff (pointy end of a warship) - The UK was the first country to fly a national flag from the fwd end of a warship. Foreign Navies have since also called the forward 'flag pole' a Jack Staff as so many have followed the Royal Navy's tradition and now also fly a national flag at the front, not all... but most. This flag of the Union then makes up part the White Ensign of the Royal Navy and hence that is the colour of our Club Patches.
Fast forward about 400 years and you will find that four of our members served onboard HMS Ark Royal R07, the fifth ship to carry that particular name.
It is purely coincidence that this ship's name was brought about because of a queen named Elizabeth. It is also coincidendal that all members joined whilst the current queen, Elizabeth, is also on the throne and that she was also the Lord High Admiral that all members gave an oath of allegiance to even though they gave no direct oath to the Sovereign. There are more 'coincidences' but they are for another crate of beer.
If you have read this far, Bravo Zulu. You shall be bored no more.
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