<![CDATA[ As part of the celebrations for her 80th birthday, HM Queen Elizabeth II is expected to visit Stornoway on July 29th. She is due to arrive on board the cruiseliner Hebridean Princess, escorted by HMS Argyll, a state of the art Royal Navy ship with all the latest equipment and defensive materials.
The official celebrations took place in June, at the time that Her Majesty ordinarily celebrates her birthday. Queen Elizabeth was born on 21st April 1926, but because the weather is usually better in mid-June than late April, the celebrations are fixed for the second Saturday in June.
The Hebridean Princess, the converted Caledonian MacBrayne ferry Columba, is a regular visitor to the port. Local rumour has it that she skipped her last scheduled call, on June 20th, because the weather was quite bad at the time. The Princess can carry up to 49 passengers on cruises around the West of Scotland, has a library and charges up to