Commander W.N.T.’Joe’ Beckett in his A Few Naval Customs, Expressions, Traditions and Superstitions p.31 refers to a command issued on 4 June 1914 by Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, then First Sea Lord, that officers were not to remain seated for the Loyal Toast if the National Anthem was played, an order which implies that there was uncertainty about this. I can find no Admiralty Fleet Order, Order in Council or other way in which this order was promulgated. Any thoughts? Is there a ruling in current in QRs? Beckett also says (p.33) that officers of the Royal Yachts always stood for the Loyal Toast which was new to me.
The custom of sitting for the loyal toast is discussed in Mariner’s Mirror Vol 6:2 (1920) 189-90. The final entry makes reference to standing when national anthem is played. However, in my time in the service that certainly did not happen, even when a member of the Royal Family was present.
Paymaster Commander C. M. Gavin, Royal Yachts (London, 1932) devotes chapter IX to ‘customs, ceremonies & traditions’ peculiar to Royal Yachts. He confirms that in the Yachts of his time the loyal toast was always drunk while standing, and he states that this was only the case in other RN ships when the national anthem was played.
Another oddity that he mentions is that in the Yacht only the Monarch was piped on board, or when leaving.
This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Frank Scott.