York brings in the big guns to celebrate Queen’s sapphire jubilee

The Queen could probably hear this in Sandringham… Members of 4th Regiment Royal Artillery fire the guns in Museum Gardens. Photographs: Sgt Chris Hargreaves
6 Feb 2017 @ 9.04 pm
| News

The Queen arrived at a new milestone on her royal journey today – and York’s celebration could be heard across the city.

The British Army fired off a 21-gun salute in Museum Gardens to celebrate the sapphire jubilee of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

Already Britain’s longest-serving monarch, the Queen is the first to reach this anniversary. It’s 65 years since she acceded to the throne following the death of her father George VI.

Crowds gathered to watch the spectacular salute, hosted by 4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East.

The Band of The Royal Armoured Corps, led by Major Ian Johnson
Part of a proud tradition

The Band of The Royal Armoured Corps, led by Major Ian Johnson, performed a marching display through the city – before entertaining the crowds with stirring military music.

At the stroke of noon The Saluting Troop from 3/29 (Corunna) Battery, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, started firing 21 rounds at 10-second intervals from three 105mm light guns.

York has been a saluting station for more than 40 years
Having a blast

As the final shots echoed along the banks of the River Ouse, the National Anthem was played.

Troop commander Captain Robert Male, said:

It is always an honour for 3/29 Corunna Battery to be entrusted with firing a Royal Salute, especially on this auspicious occasion of the anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne.

Guests at the event included the Inspecting Officer, Richard Edwards. “As you may know I represent the manufacturing industries of the Sheffield City Region where industry has played a pivotal role in supplying the armed forces,” said Mr Edwards, master cutler of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire.

Taking the salute
Richard Edwards, master cutler of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire talks to the band of The Royal Armoured Corps

“I’m keen to promote that link, the ceremony has been most impressive and I have much appreciated seeing the guns in action.”

The 21-gun Royal Salute took place simultaneously with 11 other saluting stations around the country.

York is the only Saluting Station in the North of England, and was given the honour to commemorate the 1,900th anniversary of the city in 1971.

The smoke clears after the guns are fired