HMS Diamond crossing the line in the presence of King Neptune old Navy tradition 20092021 Credit HMS Diamond Twitter.jpeg
HMS Diamond is the latest Royal Navy vessel to 'cross the line' in the presence of 'King Neptune' (Picture: HMS Diamond Twitter).
Navy

HMS Diamond Celebrates Crossing The Line In The Presence Of 'King Neptune'

'Crossing the Line' is a rite of passage that has evolved over four centuries and is still performed today.

HMS Diamond crossing the line in the presence of King Neptune old Navy tradition 20092021 Credit HMS Diamond Twitter.jpeg
HMS Diamond is the latest Royal Navy vessel to 'cross the line' in the presence of 'King Neptune' (Picture: HMS Diamond Twitter).

HMS Diamond has become the latest Royal Navy vessel to 'cross the line' and pass the equator in the presence of 'King Neptune'.

The rite-of-passage 'Crossing the Line' ceremony is one of the oldest traditions in the Royal Navy.

The ceremony involves sailors being tested to ensure they are capable of 'handling rough seas' and, as per tradition, can involve them being painted, fed a less than appetising snack and being dunked.

Naval tradition dictates that any ship crossing the equator must pay its respects to the Lord of the Seas, King Neptune, to gain his acceptance.

All those who had never previously crossed the line, and a few extras, are 'charged for their crimes' and get the justice they deserve in a somewhat comical fashion. 

This rich tradition of the Crossing the Line ceremonies often involve varied events to test a seaman who has not crossed the equator – turning them into a trusty 'Shellback' after proving themselves in front of King Neptune.

HMS Lancasters crew receive ice bath during crossing the line ceremony held in the Norwegian Fjords 21032021 CREDIT John French MOD .jpg
It's an ice bath for HMS Lancaster's crew during a crossing the line ceremony in the Norwegian Fjords (Picture: John French/MOD).

Watch: A Crossing The Line ceremony from 1964 (Credit: British Pathe).