Extract From Navy Command Secretariat- FOI Section’s reply, dated 21 April 2015, to a specific FOI Request.*

<<…The process that is used for selecting the names of new Royal Navy surface ships and submarines.

The Ships' Names and Badges Committee first met on 5th December 1918, but the Committee does not choose the names; it has the role of an advisory body.
It considers names for new classes of warships as directed by the Controller of the Navy and subject to any parameters laid down by the Controller or the Navy Board. A theme may be specified, or the Committee may be asked to suggest themes.

The Committee makes its recommendations to the Board, including information on the history of the names. The Board will review that advice, and may accept it, may ask for further names or themes to be considered, or may reject the advice entirely and select different names.
Once the Board has reached its conclusion on the best names and the Secretary of State has approved them, in the final stage the names are submitted to the Sovereign for royal approval; once that approval has been given, the names cannot ordinarily be changed. As the name is not final until it has received royal approval, the logical effective date the name is selected would either be the date when the Sovereign gives approval, or the date when the name is formally conferred upon the ship by her sponsor at the time of her launch, although before then it will normally have been announced to Parliament and be generally known.

The composition of the Ships' Names and Badges Committee is variable. Currently there are four permanent members: the Chairman (Head of the Naval Historical Branch), the Secretary (the Admiralty Librarian), the Naval Regional Commander for Eastern England (because this post has responsibility for ship affiliations) and the Naval Adviser on Heraldry, currently Garter King of Arms.

Other members are seconded as required: if the Committee is, for example, considering names for new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels, an RFA representative would normally be included to represent the views of his branch of the Naval Service. Only the Garter King of Arms, not being employed by the Ministry of Defence, receives any separate remuneration for his work on the Committee, in the form of an annual honorarium.

The names and ranks of officials in posts on the committee are withheld under s40(2) of the FOI Act 2000. Section 40(2) applies to personal data relating to third parties…>>

*The full FOI reply is at


War Hero
They get paid to think up new names for shipso_O. That sounds like a quiet number given the number of ships and submarines we have nowadays. If it takes any longer than an hour they're taking the mickey.:)

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