Royal name for new submarine as deterrent crews take centre stage

For the first time ever, a warship will bear the name King George VI – as the fourth new Dreadnought-class submarine is named.

Just hours before the nation honours the men and women involved in upholding the UK’s most important military mission, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones revealed the title of the fourth boat which will carry the next-generation nuclear deterrent alongside HMS Dreadnought, Valiant and Warspite.

The unveiling of the name of George VI – father of the Queen and a former naval officer who was mentioned in dispatches for his actions at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 – comes as his great grandson prepares to lead tributes at Westminster Abbey to those involved in 50 years of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent.

The Duke of Cambridge – Honorary Commodore of the Royal Navy Submarine Service – will join around 2,000 veterans and serving personnel, families, people who have built and maintained vessels and naval and political leaders past and present in a ‘service of recognition’ in the historic place of worship.

First Sea Lord

For half a century, the Royal Navy has always had at least one ballistic missile submarine at sea, on patrol, safeguarding the ultimate guarantor of our country’s security.

Since April 1969, one British ballistic missile submarine has always been on patrol – collectively more than 350 have been completed – carrying the nation’s ultimate weapon as a deterrent to any foe and maintaining the safety and security of the UK and its allies.

Admiral Jones said the entire nation should be proud that the best of Britain’s industry, science, technology and military forces had risen – and continued to rise – to the “enormous challenge of continuous at sea deterrence”, saying it demanded a “national endeavour”.

“For half a century, the Royal Navy has always had at least one ballistic missile submarine at sea, on patrol, safeguarding the ultimate guarantor of our country’s security,” he added.

During the service serving submariners and their loved ones will give the congregation an insight into the hardship such patrols bring.

Marine engineer Leading Seaman Ed Owen has completed two deterrent patrols in Vanguard-class boats.

“Being a submariner requires a large personal sacrifice,” he says.

“On patrol there are no phone calls, no emails and no social media – restrictions on personal freedoms which other people take for granted.

“It involves extended separation from my partner, family and friends. During the past 11 months I have spent just eight days with my girlfriend.”

After the noon service, Prince William will join attendees at an official reception.

Protectors of Peace

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Royal Navy carrying out the nation’s most important military mission – continuous patrols by submarines equipped with the UK’s nuclear deterrent. Immerse yourself in the history of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent – known officially as Operation Relentless – as we look at the crews, the boats, life on board over five decades, and the future with the advent of the Dreadnought-class.

Find out more

What is the Submarine Service?

  • Known as the Silent Service, our Submarine Service is world-renowned, conducting highly classified stealth operation
  • Our submarines remain hidden but see and hear everything, from tracking aircraft, ships and submarines to maintaining Trident, our nuclear deterrent
  • You’ll be part of a highly trained, elite team, ready at a moment’s notice to carry out global missions
  • Whether you’re an officer or a rating, first and foremost you’ll be a Submariner, member of a team that’s revered and respected in the Royal Navy
  • It takes a special type of person to be a Submariner, and living and working closely with your crewmates, and reflected in the honour of wearing the coveted Dolphins badge.