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1778 - Visit by King George III

4th May. George III and Queen Charlotte came to Portsmouth on a five day visit during which they inspected the Dockyard and reviewed the fleet.

To celebrate the King’s birthday men of the Dockyard together with the foremen, quartermen, converters, measurers etc. walked in procession, with blue ribbons and laurel branches in their hats and with white wands in their hands. The King visited the underside of the hull of a 28-gun frigate being coppered in the Dockyard: this may have been the first experimental use of the process which got underway generally shortly afterwards and had a revolutionary effect on the sea-keeping quality of the Fleet (though it had to be redone because of the electrolytic decay of iron fastenings that it initially caused in HM Ships until they were refastened with copper bolts.

The King then went to the Commissioner’s House and round the Yard from the officers’ houses and into the town ending up at the Hard where he was given three Cheers before going home.