The Royal Navy’s future flagship has arrived at her home port of Portsmouth.
Thousands of people lined the seafront in Gosport, Southsea and Old Portsmouth watching her arrive this morning, and she is now in the naval base.
She is being greeted by dignitaries and the Band of the Royal Marines.
Sailors lined the flight deck of the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy as she passed Portsmouth’s Round Tower. HMS Queen Elizabeth was also greeted with a flypast from the Fleet Air Arm, including Wildcat and Merlin helicopters and Hawk jets.
Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon said: ‘Today we welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth to her home for the very first time. She is Britain’s statement to the world: a demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role.
‘The thousands of people across the UK who have played a part in building her and her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, should be immensely proud as our future flagship enters Portsmouth. She has made good progress in sea trials and will now embark on the next phase of preparations that will see the return of Britain’s carrier strike ability.
‘When she enters service she will help keep Britain safe at a time of increased threats, able to fill multiple roles from providing air power anywhere at any time to fight future campaigns, supporting alies or delivering humanitarian aid.’
Captain Jerry Kyd, the commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first entry into her home port of Portsmouth is an historic, proud and exciting occasion, not only for those of us serving in her, but also for the wider Royal Navy, the city of Portsmouth and the entire nation.
‘The UK’s future flagship, as well her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, will be powerful symbols of Britain’s outward facing global character and ambition. The Royal Navy has a very special relationship with Portsmouth dating back half a millennium and both carriers will ensure the navy’s city remains the focal point of our great nation’s maritime power for generations to come.’