Duchess Camilla praised the "remarkable achievements" of a submarine crew on Thursday (10.09.20).

Duchess Camilla

Duchess Camilla

The 73-year-old royal - who is known as the Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland - made a special visit to HMS Astute at a naval base in Clyde to mark the 10th anniversary of the vessels commissioning, and spoke fondly of the "magnificent" boat's launch in 2010.

She told those gathered: "As the very proud sponsor of HMS Astute, I am delighted to be with you today to mark the tenth anniversary of the commissioning ceremony.

"I remember so well the 27th August 2010, as we watched this magnificent boat enter into active service."

The duchess - who previously visited the naval base in 2014 to see HMS Astute on its return from its first operational deployment - joked she was "relieved" not to have been on board the submarine for a "dive" during its decade in service.

She continued: "On that day, I half-jokingly wondered if I would ever join you for a dive.

"While that has not yet proved possible, somewhat to my relief, I have taken an enormous interest in your work over the past decade."

During her visit, Camilla met with commanding officer Commander David Crosby before visiting the base's shiplift facility, where the vessel is undergoing planned maintenance.

She then thanked the ship's company for their service and expressed her regret that the coronavirus pandemic meant she was unable to shake their hands.

She said: "I should like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"I am only sorry that today I am unable to shake each of you by the hand to express my gratitude, but sadly that will have to wait until the Covid restrictions have lifted.

"I am certain that, just as you have always done, you will continue to carry out your duties with the pride that comes of being at the forefront of our naval prowess. May you always return safely to harbour."