Prince Charles - the Duke of Rothesay - visited HM Naval Base Clyde today, Thursday, when he met Royal Navy personnel at a reception within the Faslane HQ . During the visit, the Prince, who is also Admiral of the Fleet, took the opportunity to tour Sandown Class mine hunter, HMS Bangor, and to meet some of the men and women who work at the base.

Faslane-based HMS Bangor is one of seven mine hunters which make up the Royal Navy's First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1). The sophisticated vessels are sent on missions around the globe and in UK waters in order to keep vital sea lanes safe and clear from the threat of mines.

Showing Prince Charles around the vessel was Lieutenant Commander Toby Shaunessy, Commanding Officer of Bangor.

He said: "It was a great honour to be able to show His Royal Highness around HMS Bangor. "As a former commanding officer of a minesweeper, His Royal Highness was particularly interested in the latest technology and we were able to show him our Seafox mine disposal system.

"It was also great to have the opportunity to speak with him about some of the current operations the First Mine Counter Measures Squadron is engaged in around the globe. I think he was impressed by the high tempo of our work and the dedication and sacrifices which the crews make in order to protect the UK's interests worldwide."

Prince Charles joined the Royal Navy College at Dartmouth in 1971 and for the last ten months of his naval service was Commanding Officer of the minesweeper HMS Bronington. A Ton-Class minesweeper, Bronington was the last of the Royal Navy's "wooden walls" - vessels constructed with mahogany hulls so as not to trigger magnetic mines.

The technology may have moved on, but the basic principles remain the same. Modern day mine hunters such as HMS Bangor are constructed of glass reinforced plastic for exactly the same reasons. After touring Bangor His Royal Highness next visited the Naval Base's Warrant Officers' and Senior Rates' Mess where he was given a warm welcome from children from St Kessog's Primary School who had travelled from nearby Balloch. The Prince then met a cross section of Naval Base personnel including men and women from the Faslane Flotilla, 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, submarine units, personnel from HMS Neptune and Royal Navy divers from the Northern Diving Group. Other Royal engagements on the day included a visit to Erskine Home and Army Personnel Recovery Centre in Edinburgh and a tour of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.