Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, together with representatives of the Armada de Chile, gathered to celebrate the Chilean Navy Day on Friday 21st of May at Westminster Abbey for the annual floral offering in honour of Admiral Lord Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald. Lord Cochrane is considered as one of the chief early architects of the Chilean Navy. The solemn ceremony, which took place with a reduced number of attendees to abide social distancing rules, was livestreamed through the Abbey’s social platforms, allowing the general public to participate from the event for the first time.
Princess Anne, the Chilean Ambassador in the UK Mr. David Gallagher and the Head of the Chilean Navy Mission in the UK, Captain José Francisco Fuentes Kretschmer, laid wreaths on the tomb of Lord Cochrane in the central ship on Westminster Abbey. After the wreaths, a Christian service was offered.
Following the service, His Royal Highness received the decoration of the Order of Merit Great Cross. This decoration, which was awarded by H.E. Ambassador David Gallagher, is the highest distinction given by the Government of Chile to foreign citizens who have notably served our Republic. His Royal Highness Princess Anne has kept a close relationship with Chile since her first visit in 2007 and previously participated from this ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 2012 and 2016. She visited Chile most recently for the commemoration of the 200 years of the Chilean Navy, in 2018.