HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH: Dockyard waits in anticipation

Portsmouth Harbour this morning Picture: Tom Cotterill
Portsmouth Harbour this morning Picture: Tom Cotterill
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PORTSMOUTH’S dockyard is quiet and still, bathed in the soft purple hue of a rising sun.

Today is the day the city welcomes the Royal Navy’s new aircraft HMS Queen Elizabeth for the very first time.

The 65,000-tonne leviathan is set to enter the dockyard in little over an hour.

And ahead of the historic homecoming, security is tight.

Armed police are dotted across The Hard, with roads across the city sealed off. The faces of the officers are focused.

Inside the naval base the world’s media have assembled, lining the jetty opposite HMS Warrior in expectation.

There are satellite trucks parked up on the dockyard in an unprecedented operation.

Sailors line the route through the naval base, their uniforms ironed and pressed, and smiling to people as they walk in.

Families too are beginning to gather, clutching at banners and signs with their loved one’s names on.

A naval base spokeswoman says they are ready and excited to receive the new aircraft carrier.

The city now waits...