HMS Queen Elizabeth: Shock at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as visitors see Queen's helicopter arrive

VISITORS have said it was ‘amazing’ to discover the Queen had touched down in Portsmouth today.

By Steve Deeks
Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 1:10 pm

People enjoying a day out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard were given a pleasant surprise after seeing the monarch’s helicopter.

Some eagle-eyed visitors had spotted Her Majesty’s purple coloured helicopter landing on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at 11.15am before a welcome reception greeted her.

The Royal Standard flag on board the warship had also been a giveaway of her presence.

Queen Elizabeth II meeting personnel during a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, ahead of the ship's maiden deployment. The visit comes as HMS Queen Elizabeth prepares to lead the UK Carrier Strike Group on a 28-week operational deployment travelling over 26,000 nautical miles from the Mediterranean to the Philippine Sea. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Bini McCall, 58, who used to work for the RNLI spotted the helicopter with her partner Chris Grindsted. ‘I thought that’s not ordinary livery and then saw the colour of the helicopter and flag,’ she said.

‘We saw the helicopter land and then there was a reception of bigwigs. It’s nice she’s here today. It’s impressive how she’s got on with things after Prince Philip’s death.’

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Mary and Paul Eames, visiting from Buckinghamshire, were surprised to hear the Queen was in town. ‘It’s amazing, bless her,’ Mary, 65, said.

Ross Worboys, 42, who was visiting from Guildford with his friend Andrew Bailey, 42,and their sons Max and Theo, both seven, said: ‘I noticed the Royal Standard flag. It was enjoyable to see the helicopter.

‘It’s not every day you see the Queen land on a warship.’

Meanwhile Canadian sailors from HMCS Summer Side and HMCS Kingston, who had been in the city for three days while en route to the Baltic’s, were impressed. ‘It’s fantastic to be here. It’s been a great experience which has been made even better by the Queen being here,’ petty officer Brandon Johnston said.

The Queen’s helicopter left the warship at midday.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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