The best of Dorset in words and pictures

TS Royalist Passing St Aldhelm’s Head

Ann Hayton captures the training ship Royalist as it passes Purbeck

Picture: Ann Hayton

The Training Ship (or TS) Royalist is one of few boats to be launched and dedicated twice, appropriately enough given the vessel’s name and in this Jubilee month, by Princess Anne: once in 1971 when first launched, and again (as the Princess Royal) when the ship was relaunched
in 1992.

The Royalist is owned by the Marine Society & Sea Cadets, the world’s oldest seafaring charity, founded in 1756 with the principle that: ‘all stout lads and boys, who incline to go on board His Majesty’s Ships, with a view to learn the duty of a seaman, and are, upon examination, approved by The Marine Society, shall be handsomely clothed and provided with bedding, and their charges born down to the ports where His Majesty’s Ships lye, with all other proper encouragement.’

These days, training sea cadets is a rather less militaristic affair, and the Royalist takes on crews of 24 cadets (to join the eight permanent crew) to train them in the art of sailing a near-100-foot-long, steel-hulled, square-rigged brig.

Royalist is shown close to the location of one of her more embarrassing moments, when she ran aground at Chapman’s Pool, just a nautical mile beyond St Aldhelm’s Head, in 2009 and had to be towed off by a Weymouth RNLI vessel, which had been on exercises in the area.

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