Alex Massie

Royalty is Better than Politics: Naval Department

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I hadn't realised until Matt Yglesias pointed it out that there's some unhappiness that the US navy's next aircraft carrier is going to be named after Barry Goldwater and not William Jefferson Clinton. The obvious thing to do, however, is avoid naming ships after politicians at all. This is one area in which the Royal Navy, despite everything, remains vastly superior to its cousins on the other side of the Atlantic.

I mean, the new Type 45 Detroyers, HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless have proper naval names as do the submarines Trafalgar, Ambush, Audacious. The new carriers being built - the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales - take us a little too far in the American direction, (even if there have been seven previous ships names Prince of Wales) and they're not quite as good as previous carriers such as Implacabale, Indefatigable, Furious, Colossus, Vengeance and, perhaps best of all, Vindictive.

Those are the sorts of names ships should have.

Complete list of Royal Navy ships of the line here.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSocietyroyal navy