HMS Enterprize - the first known vessel to be so named - was a captured French vessel that would later serve in the Royal Navy. Along with the HMS Victory the Enterprize fought in the Battle of Trafalgar under the overall command of Horatio Nelson.
In the late 18th century, one of the most infamous mutinies in history took place the Royal Navy vessel Bounty. Doctor Leonard McCoy later remembered this event by naming the Klingon bird of prey they had captured in their unauthorized mission to rescue Captain Spock HMS Bounty. (TOS movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
The Royal Navy continued to exist into the 22nd century, when several members of Malcolm Reed's family served in the Royal Navy. Reed's great uncle served in the navy on board the HMS Clement, and died saving members of the crew. Reed's father Stuart Reed served in the navy, and was disappointed when his son chose the United Earth Starfleet over the Royal Navy. (ENT episodes: "Silent Enemy", "Minefield")
|Militaries of Earth|
|Confederate States of America:||Army|
|Germany:||Luftwaffe • Schutzstaffel|
|United Kingdom:||Air Force • Navy|
|United States of America:||Army • Navy • Air Force • Marine Corps|
|United Earth:||Ground Forces • Navy • Military Assault Command Operations|
The term The Royal Navy without qualifications was used on Earth, even by non-Britons, for the navy of the then United Kingdom, which was for centuries the world's most powerful navy and was still a formidable force in the 22nd century.
As an island nation, England, and later the United Kingdom had navies from earliest times. In the 16th century Henry VIII developed a powerful Navy Royal. With the restoration of Charles II in the late 17th century the structure of a professional armed service had been established.
After various wars with France and Spain in the 17th and 18th centuries, by 1815 Britain, through the Royal Navy, was unchallenged mistress of the oceans. It was during this period that a captured ship was reflagged as British and named HMS Enterprize, the first battleship to be named Enterprise.
The Royal Navy also carried out a major programme of scientific surveying during the 18th century. For example, Captain James Cook mapped out New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, and discovered Hawaii.
Seamen became members of a uniformed, permanent service in a reform of the early 20th century; before that they were hired as casual labor.
The Royal Navy either survived the dissolution of all world powers during the post-atomic horror, or was reforged afterwards. Either way, Malcolm Reed's father and grand-uncle served in the Royal Navy in the late 21st or early 22nd century. (ENT: "Silent Enemy", "Shuttlepod One", "Minefield", "Affliction")
There is no canon evidence of the existence of the national navies beyond the unification of Earth in the 2150s.