8 June 2015
The New Zealand Defence Force will mark the birthday of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with a 21-gun salute at midday on Wednesday 10 June.
The salute will be fired by personnel of the 16th Field Regiment of the Royal New Zealand Artillery at Point Jerningham in Wellington, New Zealand’s only permanent saluting battery.
This gun salute is the last of the five pre-planned annual salutes for 2015, marking occasions related to the Royal Family.
In addition to the five pre-planned annual salutes, the battery fires salutes in support of state welcomes (usually conducted at Government House), official welcomes and ceremonies conducted at Parliament Buildings and salutes to visiting warships.
The tradition of firing salutes grew from naval tradition. A warship would fire its cannons until all ammunition aboard was spent, demonstrating it was disarmed and it had no hostile intent. Today all salutes are fired with blank cartridges - be it artillery, ship’s guns, or small arms.
The battery is situated in a natural amphitheatre and members of the public are welcome to witness the salutes. Ear protection will be provided.