Royal Revelation

Naval College under Threat of Closure

The first time the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met in 1939 – allegedly – was at the Britannia Royal Naval College, a historic naval college in Dartmouth, Devon.  It’s been an historic site ever since, having been used for training officers since 1905, including Princes Charles and William. But according to a recent memo from the Royal Navy, this may soon be closed as a way of saving money in the defense budget.

It is true that the couple had met many years before but it was only after this particular encounter that they began exchanging letters and, according to the report in today’s Daily Mail, the relationship “blossomed,” which resulted in their 1947 wedding.

The Memo

The memo got into the hands of the Press Association and was sent by the Maritime Estate Rationalisation Programme (MERP).  In it, it was claimed that “the officer training center near Dartmouth, Devon, could merge with the other ranks training center HMS Raleigh in Cornwall to become a training base for all naval personnel.”
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There have already been various budgetary cuts in this line.  For example, in 2010, there was a cut to the Royal Navy’s budget from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).  This resulted in the “decommissioning of surface vessels but also forced all the Armed Forces to look at other ways of saving money, including looking to sell-off or re-use under-utilized land facilities.”

According to the memo: “In the post Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) environment, we – along with the other Services – have been developing options to address the challenge of maintaining or, where possible increasing the effectiveness of our estate, whilst at the same time minimizing the cost of running it by reducing the estate footprint.”

If this does happen, a huge part of history – and royal status – will be lost to the Brits forever.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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