Ships from 40 nations have taken part in a review by Queen Elizabeth II to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. The 174 naval and merchant vessels converged in the English channel near Portsmouth. On board a polar survey ship the British monarch sailed past the anchored ships and was saluted by crews on each one. The review – watched by thousands – was part of a series of events commemorating Trafalgar – one of the greatest sea battles in history in which a British fleet defeated a larger Napoleonic French and Spanish foe. Central to the commemoration was the lovingly preserved Victory, the flagship of the British fleet commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson. Triumph came at a high price as Nelson was fatally wounded in the battle. The naval combat two centuries ago took place off the southern Spanish coast. Today’s re-enactment – involving ships from many navies – was much closer to home for the spectators.