The crew of the Royal Navy‘s latest state-of-the-art destroyer won’t forget Malta in a hurry.
Sailors and officers on HMS Diamond were treated to an extra special farewell as they left the Grand Harbour.
The ship was honoured with an impressive seven-gun salute from the Saluting Battery in Valletta.
Saluting battery at Upper Barrakka and HMS Diamond exchanging a gun salute during HMS Diamond's departure from Malta. The exchange of salute is a rare occurrence for the Grand Harbour.
Publiée par Department of Information (Malta) sur Lundi 12 novembre 2018
To onlookers, it might have looked like Malta and Britain had suddenly gone to war – but the cannon rounds were blanks and firing towards each other is regarded as a mark of respect and friendship rather than aggression.
Mario Farrugia from Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, which runs the Saluting Battery, told 89.7 Bay: ‘This is an age old naval tradition where a visiting warship exchanges compliments with the fortress.
‘The gun salutes were fired from the Saluting Battery in agreement with the British High Commission and the captain of HMS Diamond.’
HMS Diamond, which entered service in 2011, was in Malta as part of the commemorations marking 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The Queen’s cousin The Duke of Kent toured the ship during his Royal visit to Malta last week.
What an incredible stay in Malta. Royal visit, reception for over 200 guests, the Deputy Prime Minister, five different remembrance events and an ABBA Tribute band. The Royal Navy’s links to Malta remain as strong as ever. Until we meet again @UKinMalta pic.twitter.com/uv3eSnMRje
— HMS Diamond (@hmsdiamond) November 12, 2018