Flying the Flag

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It is through Navy Days, World Cruises, Commissionings, Fleet Reviews, Air Days and Aerobatic Displays that the public get the chance to see what the Royal Navy does.



  • The Navy used launches and commissioning ceremonies to commemorate important occasions in the construction of a ship. They became great public events, with large crowds assembled to watch the celebrations. To find out about the launching and commissioning of Royal Navy submarines follow the link.

  • Submarine Fleet Reviews were a way for the king or queen to inspect the Royal Navy. They provided the general public with an opportunity to observe lots of ships together at one time. To discover the role of the submarine service during fleet reviews follow the link.

Fleet Air Arm

  • The Fleet Air Arm have maintained an aerobatic display team since 1948. They are a chance to show off the flying skills of the people in the Fleet Air Arm. Follow the link to find out more about the FAA display teams since World War Two.

  • Air Days have been going for over 60 years, they are usually held in the summer. They are an opportunity for the Fleet Air Arm to show the general public their aircraft and personnel.


    Royal Marines

    • The Royal Marines are famed for their contribution to naval pageantry. The Tercentenary - or 300 year anniversary - of the Royal Marines in 1964 showed the Corps at it's ceremonial best with such events as a Beat Retreat Ceremony, a Royal Review and many parades and mess dinners. Follow the link to find out more.

    • Over the 20th century the Royal Marines have played a large part in 'flying the flag' all over the world. Royal Marine ceremonies in Malta highlights a few examples of flying - and lowering - the flag on one of the Navy's Mediterranean bases.

    Surface Fleet

    • For much of the 20th century the Royal Navy held 'Navy Days ' or 'Navy Weeks' to show the general public the Royal Navy close up and to raise money for naval charities.

    • The British Speical Service Squadron Cruise from 27 November 1923 to 28 September 1924 was one of several World Tours during the 20th century. Known as the 'World' or 'Empire' Cruise it served as a reminder to both friends and enermies or Britian's strength. It was a successful public relations exercise for the Navy and empire.

    Navy Day Programme (RNM)