THE Queen will officially name the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier at a summer ceremony, it has been revealed today.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be based in Portsmouth, will have a naming event on July 4 at the Rosyth dockyard where she is being put together.
The ceremony will mark the completion of the 65,000-tonne ship, which is the biggest aircraft carrier ever built for the Royal Navy.
During the event, the ship will be given a traditional Champagne christening, and later that month the dock will be flooded to allow the warship to float for the first time.
The leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, says there will be a celebration in Portsmouth on the same day to mirror the festivities in Scotland.
He said: ‘This is important for the whole city and we should be doing something.
‘I would hope we can have some kind of celebration and a live link-up with what is happening in Rosyth.
‘It’s more important for us here than for anyone else, because we won the argument about keeping the naval base open, and about having them based here, and it’s going to keep jobs in our city.’
Several parts of HMS Queen Elizabeth were built in Portsmouth, including the forward island, which houses the ship’s bridge.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the First Sea Lord, said: ‘The Royal Navy is delighted Her Majesty will name this great ship – the first of a class that will return fast jet carrier operations to our nation’s war fighting credibility.
‘We have a great journey ahead, in close partnership with the Royal Air Force, to create and sustain the best that our shipbuilding, engineering, technology, and people can deliver.
‘And we are proud to have the chance to show what we can do.’
Work is already underway on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales.
Assembly on the second carrier is expected to begin in the Rosyth dockyard later this year.