Queen Elizabeth II helps celebrate Canadian navy's 100th

29th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth II marked the 100th anniversary of Canada's navy by taking part Tuesday in an international fleet review at the port of Halifax, on the Atlantic coast.

Dressed in white with a marine blue hat, Canada's titular head of state inspected 28 warships gathered for the celebration from Canada, Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

The Canadian vessels still bear the initials HMCS -- Her Majesty's Canadian Ship.

More than 5,000 seamen aboard the frigates, aircraft carriers and other vessels saluted and shouted "Hip hip Hurray" as each of their ships passed by Her Majesty, accompanied on the deck of HMCS St John's by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife.

The Canadian Navy, which started out with two cruisers purchased from England, each assigned to fisheries patrols off Vancouver and Halifax, has grown over the past century into a fleet of 33 destroyers, frigates, submarines, supply ships and coast defense vessels.

During World War II, the Canadian Navy contributed to the Battle of the Atlantic, while during the Cold War that followed it was part of the NATO force building.

The city of Halifax was established by the British Empire in 1749 after taking control of the region from the French. In its early history, it was the primary North Atlantic base of the Royal Navy.

It is now the home port for the Canadian Navy's Atlantic fleet.

The queen is visiting Canada with her husband Prince Philip.

During her 22nd official tour of the country, the 84-year-old monarch will travel to parliament and address the nation on Canada Day on Thursday.

She will also travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she is expected to attend a horse race, and then wrap up her tour in Toronto, where she is due to visit Research in Motion, the maker of the popular Blackberry handset.

© 2010 AFP

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