HMS Queen Elizabeth: All you need to know as HMS Prince of Wales' sister ship comes home to Portsmouth today

CELEBRATIONS will mark HMS Queen Elizabeth’s return to Portsmouth today.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 7:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 8:30 am

The £3.1bn Royal Navy aircraft carrier left the city, her home port, for trials with British F-35 stealth jets in the USA on August 30.

Her arrival for Christmas will mark the first time she and her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, have both been in Portsmouth at the same time.

Naval top brass hailed the arrival of HMS Prince of Wales into Portsmouth on November 16 a ‘sublime’ and ‘profound’ moment for Britain.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing into Portsmouth in November, 2017. Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Both ships were constructed in Rosyth, Scotland and are the biggest ever built for the Royal Navy. Together they form the Queen Elizabeth class.

Below, we’ve put together a handy guide for you ahead of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sailing into the city today.

What time will HMS Queen Elizabeth arrive in Portsmouth?

The warship is due to sail into Portsmouth between 9.25am and 10.15am.

Where is the best place to watch HMS Queen Elizabeth arrive?

To see her close up, why not head to the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth – or claim a spot on the nearby Hotwalls.

If those are packed, you can watch the enormous ship from Bath Square, close to the Spice Island Inn and Still & West pubs.

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I can’t be at her arrival. Can I still watch it?

Luckily for you The News will be live-streaming the ship’s arrival into Portsmouth.

To watch that, you’ll need to head over the our Facebook page at the time.

Where has HMS Queen Elizabeth been?

HMS Queen Elizabeth has been off the east coast of the USA to complete trials with Britain's new F35 jets.

The deployment was called Westlant 19 and built on the achievements of the ship’s company when she went to America last year.

It saw the first British F35 take-offs and landings from her flight deck. Some of these were captured on video.

How long are HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales in Portsmouth for?

We cannot be sure how long both ships will sit side-by-side at Portsmouth Naval Base.

What we do know, is that HMS Queen Elizabeth's first operational deployment is pencilled for 2021.

Both aircraft carriers will surely come and go before that point as they prepare for Royal Navy action.

However, you can reasonably expect neither ship will leave Portsmouth before Christmas.

When will we see HMS Prince of Wales in action?

The ship has already undergone sea trials, but a very special guest will be in Portsmouth to commission the ship on December 10.

These trials included tests in challenging conditions – including 20ft waves – and manoeuvres that saw her hit her high speed.

When were the ships built?

HMS Queen Elizabeth was launched in 2014, while HMS Prince of Wales was launched in 2017. Both were fitted out after this.