HMS Prince of Wales: Prince Charles will visit Portsmouth to commission Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier

Prince Charles will be in Portsmouth to commission the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 4:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 5:14 pm

The Prince of Wales will be joined by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall at Portsmouth Naval Base on December 10 for a commissioning ceremony.

Camilla attended the naming ceremony back in 2017 and is the guest of honour at the event in Portsmouth next week.

The ceremony will last around 35 minutes and consist of a Royal Guard made up by the ship’s company, who will be inspected by the royals.

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HMS Prince of Wales with Prince of Wales Prince Charles

There will be a service by the Chaplain of the Fleet and music from the Band of the Royal Marines.

There will also be the cutting of the commissioning cake and the hoisting of the White Ensign, which officially designates the ship as part of the Royal Navy’s operational fleet.

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Commanding Officer of HMS Prince of Wales Captain Darren Houston said: ‘We are extremely honoured to host the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at our commissioning ceremony.

HMS Prince of Wales arrives in Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘The last time our Lady Sponsor (the Duchess of Cornwall) saw the ship was two years ago so we are looking forward to showing her the vast changes that have since taken place.’

The £3.1bn aircraft carrier is the eighth Royal Navy vessel to bear the name, and is named after the previous ship to hold the title.

HMS Prince of Wales is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier to be commissioned into the fleet and represents a step change in defence capability and power projection.

Her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth will return home to Portsmouth tomorrow morning.

Other ships still due to return to Portsmouth include frigates HMS Lancaster – which is returning from refit in Devonport – and HMS Kent, which comes back from recent missions in the Gulf and Baltic.

HMS Clyde will be return from the Falklands, having been relieved as the guardship for the British colony by HMS Forth.

New offshore patrol ship, HMS Trent, will make her first maiden voyage to the city following her sea trials.