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Royal Navy makes traditional toasts gender neutral

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June 22, 2013 08:53 AM EST | AP


LONDON — Britain's Royal Navy says it is dropping the traditional sailors' toast to "our wives and sweethearts," replacing the timeworn language with a gender-neutral reference to "our families."

In a statement, the military said the Saturday night toast was being updated to "reflect cultural changes" in the navy, which has included female sailors for more than two decades.

The practice of toasting "our wives and sweethearts" – occasionally followed with a bawdy "May they never meet!" – has long been a part of naval culture and is one of the seven traditional toasts delivered over dinner for each day of the week.

The Tuesday night toast to "our men" has also been updated to "our sailors," according to the statement released Saturday.