Her Majesty's Australian Ship

Her or His Majesty's Australian Ship (HMAS) is a ship prefix used for commissioned units of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). This prefix is derived from HMS (Her/His Majesty's Ship), the prefix used by the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, and can be equally applied to warships and shore bases (as Australia follows the British tradition of referring to naval establishments as ships or stone frigates).

On 10 July 1911, King George V granted the title of Royal Australian Navy to the naval forces of Australia.[1] At the same time, the prefix and acronym were approved for use in identifying units commissioned into the RAN.[1] The prefix had been used prior to formal approval, with the torpedo-boat destroyer Parramatta commissioned with the HMAS prefix on 1 March 1911.[2]

The prefix now refers to the King or Queen of Australia, who is also the British monarch. The first word of the prefix changes depending on the gender of the reigning monarch of Australia.

See also


  1. Frame, Tom (2004). No Pleasure Cruise: the story of the Royal Australian Navy. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. p. 96. ISBN 1-74114-233-4. OCLC 55980812.
  2. Cassells, Vic (2000). The Destroyers: their battles and their badges. East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster. p. 75. ISBN 0-7318-0893-2. OCLC 46829686.

Further reading

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