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Colours of the Royal Navy

The Queen's Colours - The 6 principal Commands of the Royal Navy hold a Queen's Colour. (left)

They are paraded on important ceremonial occasions and afforded the highest degree of respect. 

When a new Colour is presented by the Sovereign - every 25 years - the old one is laid up in a Naval church.

Australia owes a lot to the Royal Navy

Royal Marine Commandos

The Queen's Colour Royal Marine Commandos -

Each of the 3 Commandos (40,42 and 45) has a Queen's Colour in addition to its Regimental Colour. 

Each is identical except for the cords and tassels which are interwoven with silk in the colour of the particular Commando's uniform lanyard

the regimental colour The Regimental Colour of Royal Marines is a dark blue flag with a small Union Flag at the pike head. The Colour carries similar central embellishments as the Queen's Colour, with the exception that the cypher of George IV replaces that of the reigning monarch and the unit numeral is below. The Royal Cypher is at the other corners. The cords and tassels of both the Queen's and Regimental Colour are gold interwoven with silks of the Commando lanyard.

40 Commando; Light Blue,
42 Commando; White,
45 Commando; Red.

The Royal Marines fought at Gallipoli

Royal Navy to Receive New Queens Colour

Her Majesty The Queen will present a new Colour to the Royal Navy at a Fleet Assembly off Plymouth on 23 July 2003.

Planning is underway for the Colour presentation ceremony to take place on board a Royal Navy ship in Plymouth Sound with The Hoe providing a spectacular viewing point and back-drop to this historic event. There will also be a Sail Past.

Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band said: "It will be a huge honour for the Fleet to receive the Colour from Her Majesty and we are all very much looking forward to the event."

Colours have become the symbol of the spirit of a Service, Corps or Regiment. Her Majesty The Queen has graciously approved the use by the Royal Navy of Colours known as The Queens Colour, which is a double folded silk White Ensign.

The flag measures 1.17 metres (44 inches) by 0.9 metres (36 inches) with a crown and Royal Cypher embodied with gold and blue silk cord and gold tassels, which are 1.07 metres (3 foot six inches) in length. This size and design is standard for all Queens Colours presented to the Royal Navy. Unlike the Colours of the Army, which carry battle honours and vary in design from regiment to regiment, The Queens Colours of the Royal Navy do not alter from Command to Command.

There have only been two previous Fleet Colour presentations. The first, was presented by King George V in 1926 and the second, by Queen Elizabeth in 1969. This year’s event is being meticulously planned on behalf of the Commander-in-Chief Fleet by Flag Officer Sea Training at Devonport.

The Colours are consecrated before and after service. Continuing the custom for the old colours to be laid up after service in sacred or public building, the old Queen Colour will be laid up, following a special ceremony on 24 July, at the Church of St Nicholas in HMS Drake, Plymouth.

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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces