HMS Diamond Marks Start of Jubilee Weekend

Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond has launched the nation's weekend of jubilee celebrations by honouring the Queen during a spectacular entry in to Portsmouth Naval Base on June 1.

The Type 45 destroyer fired a 21-gun salute and gave three cheers to Her Majesty as the ship entered Portsmouth Harbour at 10.30 this morning.

Four Navy helicopters - two Merlin and two Lynx - performed a flypast over the ship in a diamond formation. The Navy saluting gun overlooking the harbour entrance at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, fired 21 times in return.

HMS Diamond gun salute

HMS Diamond was led into the harbour by two Royal Navy patrol vessels - HMS Raider and HMS Blazer.

Fleet Commander, Admiral George Zambellas, said: "It is fitting that Her Majesty's Ship Diamond should mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in this way. The Queen's affection for and commitment to the Armed Forces have touched the lives of many servicemen and women and their families over the past 60 years and I am proud that HMS Diamond is helping to launch this special weekend of celebrations across our island nation." 

Hundreds lined the harbour wall to welcome her in.

Hundreds welcomed in HMS Diamond

Now the ship is berthed in the Naval Base the celebrations take on a more relaxed fashion with a street party for the 190 crew and guests on the ship's flight deck.

HMS Diamond's Commanding Officer, Commander Ian Clarke, said: "It's a real honour for HMS Diamond to salute Her Majesty, signalling the start of Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend. By happy coincidence, 2012 is an important year for HMS Diamond as we sail for our maiden operational deployment in a couple of weeks' time." 

HMS Diamond's own 'street' party