Brunssum, the Netherlands – On 29 Aug, members of the British Royal Naval community in JFC Brunssum gathered together to celebrate the recent birth of His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. In order to mark this happy event, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II directed the Royal Navy to splice the mainbrace.
"Splice the mainbrace” is an order given by the Royal Navy to grant their personnel an extra ration of rum or ‘grog’. The mainbrace was the most important part of a ship’s rigging and, if shot away during an engagement at sea, splicing (repairing) it was a difficult, yet critical task – usually only given to a ship’s best Able Seamen. Once successfully completed, it was customary to reward the men with an extra ration of rum. Over time the order "splice the mainbrace” became issued on other notable occasions, such as for combat victories, a fleet inspection, a royal wedding or a royal birth.
The order can only be issued by a select few and is a very rare event. On this occasion it was to celebrate the birth of Prince Louis of Cambridge, the third child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on 23 April 2018. The Rum Ration issued is for 62.5 millilitres of spirits per sailor or marine, however beer can be used if spirits are unavailable, due to operational reasons, and soft drinks can also be used to toast the happy event.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office