The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with France that started in 1690 and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars, a time when the practice of fighting under sail was developed to its highest point.
The ensuing century of general peace saw considerable technological development, with sail yielding to steam and cannon supplanted by large shell-firing guns, and ending with the race to construct bigger and better battleships.
That race, however, was ultimately a dead end, as aircraft carriers and submarines came to the fore and, after the successes of World War II, the Royal Navy yielded its formerly-preeminent place to the United States Navy. The Royal Navy has remained one of the world's most capable navies, however, and currently operates a large fleet of modern ships.
HOW TO JOIN. If you've decided that you're interested in a Royal Navy career, it's time to begin the formal recruitment process.
There are two ways to discover the right job for you. You can explore RN jobs by FLEET, BRANCH, JOB TYPE or NAVAL SERVICE
see Jobs in the Royal Navy
A job in the Royal Naval Service means adventure, camaraderie – and lifelong prospects
The Royal Navy was formally created as the national naval force of England in 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne.
It became the naval force of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Union between England and Scotland in 1707 which merged the English Navy with the (much smaller) Royal Scots Navy, though the two began operating together from the time of the Union of the Crowns.
The English Navy had no defined moment of formation; it started out as a motley assortment of "King's ships" during the Middle Ages assembled only as needed and then dispersed, began to take shape as a standing navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment during the tumults of the 17th century.
The RN jobs are unable to provide information on advice about choosing a Royal Navy or Royal Marines career. please see Careers Royal Navy
Individual careers can be found within the careers web pages. In addition, there is clear advice on the nationality and residency guidelines necessary to join the UK Armed Forces within the eligibility section.
All other enquiries must be directed towards the nearest Officer Career Liaison Centre or Armed Forces Careers Offices