A dozen schoolgirls got a taste of Navy life when they stepped on board HMS St Albans in Portsmouth to mark International Women’s Day.

The pupils from Portsmouth Grammar School were given an insight into the role and capabilities of the Type 23 frigate - one of two major RN warships commanded by a woman - and the careers available in the wider Royal Navy.

Commander Catherine Jordan told the pupils: "Girls make up about 20 per cent of the ship’s company and serve in all roles. Today is about celebrating the success of women in social, political and economic roles within society but frankly the Royal Navy embraced this long ago."

HMS St Albans is currently in refit in Portsmouth and will return to sea in the summer as one of the most advanced frigates in the Royal Navy.