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A royal gun salute for King Charles at Fort Nelson

Saturday, 6 May 2023

military personnel preparing to fire a gun mounted on a carriage

A royal gun salute has taken place to mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Fort Nelson.

Hundreds gathered to watch as a 21- round salute took place at midday – the exact moment the King was crowned monarch – delivered by the Garrison Artillery Volunteers (GAV).

The 21-gun salute was fired by members of the GAV on four British Army World War Two 25-pounder field guns. At 10-second intervals the gun detachments discharged the blanks as a mark of respect for the monarch on this special Royal day.

The GAV, a living history group based on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire, were the centrepiece for Coronation celebrations taking place at the Victorian fort on top of Portsdown Hill.

Brigadier Shane Rutter-Jerome received the royal salute. He served for 31 years in the Royal Artillery and in 2000 was appointed Colonel Commandant Royal Regiment of Artillery, a post he held until 2005.

Brigadier Shane Rutter-Jerome, said: “This event will live long in the memory of those who were able to come and see the gun salute today. It was an amazing way to mark this very special day.”

Keith Brigstock, GAV Training Officer and army veteran, said: “It’s an honour to be here today. The GAV is an organisation dedicated to the history of the Royal Artillery and with our link to Royal Armouries, made Fort Nelson the perfect place for gunners to mark this Coronation.

“We do a lot of ceremonial shoots, for the Queen’s Jubilee and William and Kate’s wedding and so we wanted to mark this special Coronation Day with a royal gun salute”.

The GAV group is made up of armed forces veterans, serving soldiers, MOD civil servants, historians, and mechanics.

Shay Pomfret, the youngest on parade celebrated her 17th birthday earlier in the week, said: “It was certainly a once in a life-time opportunity that I’m very grateful to have experienced.

“It’s not every day that someone my age can say they fired a WW2 artillery gun in honour of the Coronation. It is something I can look back on and be proud of”.

Elizabeth Puddick, Public Engagement Manager, at Fort Nelson said: “It’s such a special day for the whole country, and to mark the moment King Charles was crowned with a gun salute was really special – something we will always remember.”

Notes to Editors:

Admission to Fort Nelson is free but visitors are asked to pre-book free tickets online in advance at as the site has limited capacity due to the size of its car park.

Fort Nelson is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm during term time, Bank Holidays and daily in the school holidays.

The GAV is an international organisation with membership from North Yorkshire to the south coast, Holland, Czech Republic, Belgium and Malta.

The group concentrates its efforts on portraying basic Territorial Artillery regiments of the Royal Artillery normally 69th Field Regiment RA (TA) and 124th Field Regiment RA (TA).

The female section of Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) enact the 93rd (Mixed) Searchlight Regiment RA (TA), part of Ack Command, manning the only fully working 150cm carbon arc searchlight in Britain.

For more information contact:

Cathy Brooks, Communications Officer at – 01329 848 516

Visit Fort Nelson’s website –

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About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.