How did HMS Prince of Wales get her name? Cost, captain, crew size and where Royal Navy aircraft carrier was built

HMS Prince of Wales is currently undergoing upgrades and maintenance while she is in Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 2:07 pm

She is the sister ship of future Royal Navy fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is also moored in the city ahead of her first operational mission next year.

Here's everything you need to know about HMS Prince of Wales:

What type of warship is she?

HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: LPhot Alex Ceolin/ MoD/ Royal Navy

HMS Prince of Wales is the Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.

She is the same class as HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The contracts for the pair were signed in 2007, which ended years of delays over cost worries and the restructuring of shipbuilding in the UK.

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Picture: Michael McGurk/Aircraft Carrier Alliance/PA Wire

How did she get her name?

This HMS Prince of Wales is the seventh ship to bear the name Prince of Wales.

The first was a 74-gun third rate launched in 1765 and the most recent before the new carrier was a King George V-class battleship launched in 1939 and was sunk in a Japanese airstrike in 1941 during World World Two.

She gets her name from the title traditionally granted to the heir apparent of the British monarch – so HMS Prince of Wales is not directly named after Prince Charles, the current Prince of Wales.

How much did HMS Prince of Wales cost?

The project to build the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers – so HMS Prince of Wales and her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth – had a combined budget of £6.2 billion.

Who is her captain?

The current commanding officer of HMS Prince of Wales is Captain Darren Houston, who was appointed in July 2019.

Previously the first person to lead the new warship had been Captain Stephen Moorhouse.

How many crew members will HMS Prince of Wales have?

The carrier will have a crew complement of 700 which can be increased to around 1,600 with aircraft onboard.

How big is HMS Prince of Wales?

She is 284m long and 70m wide, so she has enough space for three football pitches.

HMS Prince of Wales weighs 65,000 tonnes – the same size as HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Where was she built?

The parts for HMS Prince of Wales and her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth were built at seven shipyards including at BAE Systems in Portsmouth, as well as ones in Glasgow, Rosyth, Appledore in North Devon, Hebburn and Birkenhead.

She was then assembled at the Babock shipyard in Rosyth.

HMS Prince of Wales was laid down in May 2011 and launched in December 2017 when she was floated out of Rosyth drydock for the first time.

Where is HMS Prince of Wales now?

HMS Prince of Wales is currently in Portsmouth while work is carried out on the ship.

You can keep up-to-date with her latest location on the ship’s official Twitter feed.

Looking for the latest Royal Navy updates from Portsmouth? Join our new Royal Navy news Facebook group to keep up to date.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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