Royal Praise for 'fantastic British engineering' in Scotland

Prince William has hailed the "scale of achievement" at a busy shipyard in Govan today, as he met apprentices and officially marked the start of construction on HMS BELFAST, a new Royal Navy warship.

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HMS BELFAST is one of the new Type 26 Global Combat Ships, which has secured more than 4,000 jobs and has given hope for a strong future of shipbuilding in Scotland.

It will be used to protect the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers from enemy submarines. Prince William cut the first plate of steel for HMS BELFAST to officially start the ship's construction.

The Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, was also taken on a tour of the first Type 26 warship, HMS Glasgow to see how the ship's construction was getting on. Prince William announced his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, will be a Sponsor of HMS Glasgow - which is long-standing tradition in the Royal Navy.

The Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, alongside apprentice Cara Shannon as they view construction work on HMS Glasgow.
The Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, alongside apprentice Cara Shannon as they view construction work on HMS Glasgow.

As a Sponsor, the Duchess will have a "strong personal connection" to the vessel and her crew, and is expected to support milestones, events and deployments involving the warship.

"The scale of achievement is truly staggering, and all the staff I’ve met here today are rightly proud" - Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

In a quite personal moment for the prince, The Earl of Strathearn shared with workers how his late Grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, would have been fascinated by the modern skills and technology used to build the ships.

On Monday, the Duke of Cambridge joined The Queen on a visit to the IRN-BRU factory in Cumbernauld before meeting volunteers and first responders in Edinburgh, to thank them for their work during the pandemic.

There is speculation the Royal Family are on a 'charm offensive' to help Downing Street persuade Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom. This comes as The Queen met Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the Palace of Holyrood House for an audience today.