As we must, with sadness and respect, now call her. And with hope for a long and happy reign! This is – was – HMS Bronington, a ‘Ton’ class coastal minesweeper (so called, informally, because all the ship names of these doughty vessels ended in ‘ton’.) For many years, these tidy little ships were the workhorses of the Royal Navy – engaging in patrol and engagement tasks well beyond their prime function. Wooden, with aluminium frames, to minimize the chances of detonating magnetic mines, they added one special cachet to their record: providing Prince Charles with his first, and only, seagoing command. Uncomfortable in a seaway because of their shallow draught and relatively high top-hamper, they and their ship’s companies ploughed on at Their Lordship’s bidding for many a long year. Now King Charles’ ship is solitary survivor… but only just.