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  Gun Salutes Index  

The salute pictured above was fired by The Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

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The origins of Gun Salutes are not well documented. The most accepted theory is that when entering foreign ports British Men o'War would fire from offshore to demonstrate that their guns were empty and to indicate friendly intentions towards the port being visited. The ship's company would not have enough time to reload before coming in range of shore batteries.

Salutes are of varying numbers but those fired on a Royal Anniversary are normally of 21 guns. Why 21 guns is something of a mystery but may have to do with limiting waste, which for ships, with precious little space to store powder, was a prime consideration.

Regulations today allow for the firing of Royal Salutes in the capital cities of the United Kingdom and in Gibraltar and on Royal Anniversaries.

The official saluting station for Gibraltar is listed in Queen's Regulations as either Devil's Gap Battery or Europa. The former location has fallen into disrepair and is too small for the recently acquired 105 mm Light Gun. The latter location is somewhat bleak and has never been used. Prior to 2001, salutes were fired in the Naval Ground but the increasing security effort required necessitated a move to a safer location.

The following events are commemorated with a gun salute

Accession Day6 February
The Queen's Birthday21 April
Coronation Day2 June
The Birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh11 June (2007)
The Queen's Birthday Parade14 June (2007)