Arrival of RNLB Diamond Jubilee at Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour

RNLI Photo Nik Mitchell

By John Ray

At 1pm on Saturday (November 11) in bright sunshine, a large crowd gathered along Ramsgate’s harbour walls to welcome the new station all weather  lifeboat, Tamar class 16-23 RNLB Diamond Jubilee, to Ramsgate.

Photo Nik Mitchell

She was escorted into the harbour by Ramsgate’s current Trent Class lifeboat 14-02 RNLB Esme Anderson and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboats from Ramsgate and flank stations Margate and Walmer. Once the crew complete their training on the new lifeboat RNLB Esme Anderson, which has been at Ramsgate since 1994, will go to Poole for a refit before beginning her new role.

Photo Nik Mitchell

All associated with Ramsgate RNLI are pleased to welcome, for the first time, a station all weather lifeboat named in honour of a monarch, the late Queen Elizabeth II, into the UK’s only Royal Harbour.

Photo Nik Mitchell

The title “Royal” was conferred on Ramsgate Harbour by King George IV by, as so often happens in our history, a quirk of fate. Unfortunately, his “arranged” marriage to Caroline was not a happy one and he even barred her from his coronation. Being Hanovarian they both, separately, travelled by ship to the Continent.

Photo Nik Mitchell

In 1821 Caroline was the first to travel via Dover where she was cheered by the townspeople both on departure and return. Knowing this George decided he would avoid Dover and travel via Ramsgate where he was greeted, entertained and cheered by the residents. As a result, shortly after his return, the title was conferred.


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