June 21, 2019 – Royal Navy hydrographic ship HMS Enterprise is making a rare visit to London. Whilst berthed in the Capital the Echo-Class Multi Survey Vessel, usually based in Plymouth, will carry out ceremonial roles as well as providing the public with an opportunity to get onboard.
Amongst those roles is the Ceremony of the Constables Dues at the Tower of London on Monday 24th June.
This ancient custom originated in the 14th Century in the reign of King Richard II who decreed that any large navy vessel passing upstream was to pay a levy to the Tower. The levy required was a barrel of navy rum.
The ship also hosted the newly appointed First Sea Lord, the Head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Tony Radakin and performed a sunset ceremony at a special reception held on board.
On the 24th the crew will also attend the Flag Raising ceremony at London Guildhall for National Armed Forces Day as well as the launch of London International Sea Week and London Armed Forces week.
HMS Enterprise’s Commanding Officer, Commander Cecil Ladislaus said, “I am delighted to have had the chance to bring Enterprise to our great nation’s capital.
“This is a unique opportunity and it is an honor to represent the RN at a number of high-profile events.
“My team are looking forward to the visit and are excited about performing the ‘Ceremony of the Dues’ at the Tower of London.
“Many members of the Naval Service will go their entire careers without being able to march a barrel of rum to the Tower of London – I am thrilled that the current ship’s company will have this rare privilege.
“So far, the city has made us exceptionally welcome, and we look forward to the rest of our port visit.”
HMS Enterprise’s primary role is to conduct hydrographic and oceanographic survey which contributes to the safety of mariners both in and out of defense.
Primarily a survey ship, she is also a warship armed with two 20mm cannons, three Mk44 miniguns and four General Purpose Machine Guns.
Enterprise is currently berthed in West India Docks. Tours of the ship are strictly by ticket only (free) which have unfortunately sold out.