VARIOUS naval skills were on show aboard HMS Adamant, depot ship of Faslane’s submarine squadron, when Princess Margaret visited the base in March 1960. “Ratings climbed ropes [pictured],” noted the Glasgow Herald, “a yeoman of signals did some expert semaphore, one enthusiastic seaman demonstrated a modern deck-polisher over the same two square yards for a very long time...” Her bare hands, however, allowed sailors a glimpse of her much-talked-about engagement ring, a present from her fiancé, Antony Armstrong-Jones.

On board a “secret”, submarine, Rorqual, she looked through its periscope and swung it through 360 degrees. It was, she said, like something from “What the butler saw”. Through it, she spotted what she thought was a pleasure steamer and asked if the people on board knew they were being observed. They didn’t, she was told. What’s more, it wasn’t a pleasure steamer: it was a cramped motor-vessel full of hungry and impatient journalists, there to record her visit.