HMS Prince of Wales welcomes the first of her ship’s company

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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THE Royal Navy’s second flagship aircraft carrier has taken on the first 12 people of its ship’s company – while it is still under construction.

The sailors stepped into HMS Prince of Wales which is the second of the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers being built for the UK, after the 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The first members of the Prince of Wales's ship's company tour the new warship in Scotland

The first members of the Prince of Wales's ship's company tour the new warship in Scotland

As the first of the ship’s company, the team will play a key role in learning about the inner workings of the mammoth warship ahead of her sea trials in 2019.

Captain Simon Petitt, the senior naval officer of both Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, said: ‘It is an honour to be in charge of a small but rapidly-growing team.

‘This is day one for the men and women who will serve in HMS Prince of Wales and I wish them every success in their journey.’

HMS Prince of Wales stands proudly in Rosyth along with her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Together, the ships will protect the UK for the next 50 years.

The work to finish the mighty vessels is being carried out by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

Once completed, they will be the largest and most technologically-advanced warships ever made in the UK.