Royal Visit to Home Fleet Huge Success

Friday 13th November 1936

The King’s visit to the Home Fleet of the Royal Navy off Portland was a triumphant success despite some appalling weather. The contrast was noted between the King getting soaked in the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet and the First Lord of the Admiralty, the widely unloved sir Samuel Hoare, snugly wrapped up in oil-skins.

The high point was an all-ranks smoking concert in the aircraft hangar of new fleet carrier, Courageous. The King reminded his audience of his own time as a junior naval officer and led the men in a rousing chorus of Tipperary accompanied by a mouth-organ band. The reception was as enthusiastic as his reception had been at the Albert Hall for the British Legion Festival. He had the gift of pleasing crowds and was fully aware of it. It was moments like this that made the chores of "kinging" worthwhile.