Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, has visited the HMS Caroline, a First World War ship and floating museum in Belfast, as it reopens to visitors.

As Patron of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, owner of the ship, she viewed the restoration and refurbishment works shortly after it reopened to visitors this month.

The warship closed in March 2020 during the pandemic, and was set to reopen in the Summer of 2022, a date which was pushed back to 1 April 2023.

Onboard, a refurbished exhibition will tell the story of HMS Caroline’s service. Included is a cinematic experience recreating the Battle of Jutland and a ‘Virtual Access Suite’, giving visitors the experience of cracking codes, sending signals, firing torpedoes and steering the ship.

​​Belfast’s First World War-era ship to reopen to public

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of NMRN, said: “We are thrilled that our patron The Princess Royal’s visit marks the official re-opening of HMS Caroline after a lengthy period of closure due to the covid pandemic.”

“The last three years have been challenging for the museum sector as we have had to wrestle with the economic impact of the pandemic.

“The Princess Royal has been a remarkably supportive patron to us and kept in close touch during that period. She expressed a personal interest to meet with the team who have worked so hard behind the scenes to keep the ship safe and secure during its protracted closure.

“She has also met valued partners from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for the Economy, without whom we would not be so economically resilient.”

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Image: Pictured with HRH, The Princess Royal are Prof Dominic Tweedle, Director General of the National Museum Royal Navy and Kerry Rooney, Business Development Manager at HMS Caroline.