Royals

Prince William: 'My Grandfather Would Have Been Fascinated' By HMS Glasgow's Build

The Duke of Cambridge spoke about his late grandfather after touring the warship under construction on the banks of the River Clyde.

The Duke of Cambridge has said his late grandfather Prince Philip "would have been fascinated" by the build of a Royal Navy warship during a visit to a shipyard in Glasgow.

Prince William was at the BAE Systems yard in Govan on Tuesday to meet the team building City-class Type 26 Global Combat Ship HMS Glasgow on the banks of the River Clyde.

He also announced that the Duchess of Cambridge has become the sponsor of the Royal Navy frigate and will officially name her.

Addressing a crowd of gathered staff and senior BAE Systems executives, Prince William opened up about how important the work at the shipyard would have been to his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War, witnessing the surrender of Japan firsthand and was even mentioned in dispatches for his role in the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941.

He continued a long association with the service after leaving in 1951 and also had a passion for engineering.

Famously, Lord Lewin, who himself was First Sea Lord, suggested the Duke of Edinburgh would have become Navy chief, had he continued active service.

"My family's affection for the Royal Navy is well known and, as I saw the work taking place here today, I was thinking of my grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh," William said. 

"He would have been fascinated and excited to see such advances in skills and technology being put into practice."

Watch: In a 1995 interview, the Duke of Edinburgh explained why he decided to join the Navy. 

Prince William added it was "a real honour to see the Navy’s incredible new Type 26 ships under construction".

“The scale of achievement is truly staggering, and all the staff I’ve met here today are rightly proud of what you are doing.

“Proud not just because you are creating these cutting-edge ships, but because you are supporting the Royal Navy and the national security of the United Kingdom."

During the visit, Prince William also took part in a steel-cutting ceremony to mark the start of work on HMS Belfast, another Type 26 frigate.

Before leaving, the Duke was presented with three wooden models of Royal Navy warships for his children to paint.

The new Type 26 frigates will be part of the Carrier Strike Group, replacing the submarine-hunting Type 23s from the mid-2020s.

The Type 26 programme will secure more than 4,000 jobs across BAE Systems and the wider UK maritime supply chain, providing a strong foundation for shipbuilding at the company's Scottish facilities into the 2030s.

Cover image: Prince William speaks to workers as they view the construction of HMS Glasgow (Picture: Alamy).