Fleet Review: the Trafagar 2005 International Review, Portsmouth

Miscellaneous. Acrylic on board. Signed Mike Miller (LR).

Fleet Review: the Trafagar 2005 International Review, Portsmouth

19.7 x 63 ins (50 x 160 cms) approx

Price in the region of £7,500

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This magnificent panorama, showing a view over 7 miles in width, was painted by well known marine artist of the Isle of Wight, Mike Miller. Painstakingly researched and planned even before the ships started to take up their positions for the Review on 28th June 2005, it took Mr Miller 480 hours worth of work to capture the great sight of assembled ships from 38 countries as they lay in the Solent for review by Her Majesty The Queen flying the Royal Standard in HMS ENDURANCE (Captain T M Karsten RN).

This is a painting worthy of those Fleet Review pictures that have gone before by artists such as The Chevalier Edoardo de Martino CVO (Reviews of 1887 and 1897), Frank Watson Wood (1910, 1935 and 1937), C E Dixon, A B Cull, C J Hall and William Wyllie (all 1914), Charles Eddowes Turner (1923), Rowland Langmaid and Charles Pears (1935), Norman Wilkinson CBE and C E Turner (1953), L A Wilcox and Roger Fisher (1977).  

At over 5 feet long in its elegant plain beech frame this painting, which comes with a key identifying all the participants, would go superbly in a fine, light room: maybe it's destined for the house of one of the Review's participants - or perhaps the dining room or drawing room of his yacht?!   www.maritimeprints.com commissioned a painting by Mandy Shepherd (1960-) of this same Review and it was produced with the names of all flag officers and captains of ships, RN and RAF air squadrons, and yacht clubs participating. Although the original of this now hangs in the Fleet's Headquarters some prints are still available: Mike Miller's original and Mandy's print would make an excellent and complementary pair. 

The Review with its large international flavour had largely been put together by the Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West, GCB DSC ADC wearing his flag in the carrier HMS INVINCIBLE (Commodore N Morisetti RN). In command of the British presence was Admiral Sir Jonathon Band KCB, Commander-in-Chief Fleet, in the carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS (Commodore R G Cooling RN); Vice Admiral  Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB CBE ADC, Second Sea Lord was afloat in HMS SCOTT (Commander S R Malcolm RN); Rear Admiral C R Style CBE, Commander UK Maritime Force, was flying his flag in HMS ALBION (Captain K Winstanley MBE RN); HMS BULWARK (Captain J H Stanford RN) was wearing the flag of the Flag Officer Sea Training (Rear Admiral R S Ainsley); Flag Officer Reserves and Training, Rear Admiral K Borley, was afloat in RFA FORT GEORGE (Captain J Murchie RFA);  and Rear Admiral N H L Harris MBE, Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England, Northern Ireland, was flying his flag in the submarine HMS SOVEREIGN (Commander S R Aiken OBE RN).

Also afloat were Admiral of the Fleet Sir Benjamin Bathhurst GCB DL in Motor Yacht LEANDER (Commodore Sir Donald Gosling KCVO RNR of the Royal Yacht Squadron), Admiral The Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in HMS CHATHAM (Captain S J Chick RN); and by ancient custom leading the Sovereign in the Royal Review Column was THV PATRICIA (Commander T Dann), the flagship of Deputy Master Trinity House, Rear Admiral J M de Halpert CB.  Representing Commonwealth navies present at the Review was Rear Admiral R Moffit of the Royal Australian Navy flying his flag in HMAS ANZAC (Captain R T Menhinick RAN).  RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 (Captain I McNaught MN) displacing some 70,000 tons was the largest vessel attending the Review: she was anchored at the very eastern end of the Solent as her draft precluded her taking her place in the Review lines.

Foreign Flag Officers afloat were, from France, Vice Admiral Jaques Mazar in the carrier FS CHARLES DE GAULLE (Captain X Magne); Rear Admiral M Shibata from Japan in JDS KASHIMA (Captain K Mukai); from Russia, Admiral M Abramov flying his flag in RFS ADMIRAL LEVCHENKO (Captains I R A Shuvanov and A P Dolgov); from South Korea, Rear Admiral Yum-Hei Choi in ROKS CHUN JEE (Captain Jin Su Lee); and from Spain, Rear Admiral J Palomino Ulla in the carrier SPS PRINCIPE DE ASTURIAS (Captain J M G Bouza Marzo).