Events are taking place around the world today to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Events are taking place around the world today to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The main proceedings were to begin once the Royal Navy received the raising of Admiral Lord Nelson’s England Expects signal on HMS Victory, in Portsmouth.

Following a traditional memorial service on board the historic flagship at 8.45am, wreaths were laid on the quarterdeck where Nelson fell and on the Orlop deck where he later died.

Across the country, the Royal Navys flag the White Ensign is being raised, for the first time flying from public buildings and flagpoles. Royal Navy warships will be dressed overall with signal flags.

Eight bells were struck at noon on warships around the world and Royal Navy shore-based establishments to mark the start of the battle 200 years ago.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC ADC was to lay a wreath at Nelson’s tomb in St Paul’s Cathedral before travelling to Portsmouth.

In Cadiz, Spain, frigate HMS Chatham is representing the Royal Navy, invited by the Spanish to provide a guard escort and take part in commemorative religious services and a military parade, with wreath-laying at the Spanish Naval Mausoleum and in central Cadiz.

The ship will then sail in company with Spanish aircraft carrier Principe De Asturias, her frigate escort Reina Sofia together with French frigate Montcalm, towards Cape Trafalgar where they will honour all those who lost their lives in the Battle of Trafalgar in a service at sea.

As the sun sets over Portsmouth harbour, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh will light the Trafalgar Weekend National Beacon, beside HMS Victory, witness a special Beat Retreat by the Band of HM Royal Marines and the firing of an authentic 52-gun ripple broadside from HMS VICTORY.

This will mark the moment for Trafalgar Night dinners and parties across the land to commence.

The action in Portsmouth will be covered live on BBC2 from 6:30 to 7:30pm in Nelson’s Glorious Victory.

For the first time, Her Majesty The Queen’s short speech and Immortal Memory toast to Admiral Nelson is planned to be broadcast live to the nation whilst dining with the Navy Board in Lord Nelson’s Great Cabin in HMS Victory.

Among the guests dining with The Queen will be the most Senior Commanding Officer serving afloat Captain Tony Johnston-Birt and one of the most junior, Lieutenant Trish Kohn.

On Sunday, 23 October, the Royal Navy T200 events focus on Trafalgar Square and London.

The Trafalgar Parade in Trafalgar Square from 11am will see the Sea Cadets joined in their annual parade by Royal Navy and Reservist personnel together with the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth.

HRH the Duke of York, Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps, will be the Inspecting Officer and lead the laying of wreaths at Nelson’s Column.

The Trafalgar Service in St Paul’s Cathedral at 3pm will be attended by Their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of York, The Princess Royal and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Afterwards, The Lord Mayor of London will hold a reception in the Guildhall, attended by HRH The Princess Royal.

In a grand finale, T200 – The Spirit of Nelson, a major maritime theatrical show and presentation starts in Trafalgar Square from 6.30pm.

In the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Michael of Kent, a public audience of 10,000 will witness the culminating spectacular event of the Royal Navy’s Trafalgar 200 programme.
The show will end with Nelson’s Column spectacularly illuminated.

BBC2 will present a highlights programme of the year from Trafalgar Square from 8:00 to 9:00pm – ‘Trafalgar200: Nelson’s Legend and Legacy’.

For details of all the Trafalgar 200 events visit www.trafalgar200.com