The ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy sail in the service of Her Majesty the Queen. This is why the names of the ships are preceded by ‘Harer Majesteits’ [Her Majesty’s] (abbreviated to ‘Hr.Ms.’). When the Netherlands is governed by a king, this will be replaced by ‘Zijner Majesteits’ [His Majesty’s] (abbreviated to ‘Zr.Ms.’).
The English-language designation in both instances is HNLMS. The names of the ships each have their own special meaning. Ships are named after historical figures, naval heroes or cities, just to name a few. For example:
- The frigates HNLMS Van Speijk, HNLMS Tromp and HNLMS De Ruyter are named after Dutch naval heroes.
- The Air Defence and Command Frigate HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën is named after the flagship of Admiral De Ruyter (1607-1676).
- The minehunters of the Alkmaar Class are named after key cities involved in the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648).