Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales locks horns with Leeds boy, 7, in light-hearted war of words over the 'best air force'
BRITAIN’S biggest warship ever made has locked horns with a seven-year-old boy on Twitter over what is the ‘finest flying organisation in the world’.
Aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales clashed with young Jacob ‘the Pilot’ Newson in a light-hearted spat on social media last night.
The RAF-mad youngster and armed forces fundraiser launched a tongue-in-cheek attack following a post by Prince of Wales’s sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The £3.2bn Portsmouth-based vessel had posted a couple of photos of a Merlin and Apache attack helicopter landing on the ship’s flight deck with the question: ‘Spot the difference’, to its 100,000 followers.
And in a cheeky response, Jacob’s Twitter account responded: ‘Easy...Neither of them belong to the finest flying organisation in the world’ – accompanied by a gif of the Leeds lad in his RAF uniform, winking.
Questioned on whether the youngster meant the Fleet Air Arm – the navy’s flying force – by another user, Jacob said: ‘Whilst a fine body of men and women I’m sure, they are unable to boast they belong to the world's oldest independent Air Force, oh and have Royal in their title.’
The comment rallied HMS Prince of Wales to the defence of the Fleet Air Arm, with the account saying: ‘But those in the @RoyalNavy do boast the privilege of sitting during the Loyal Toast unlike those whipper snappers. We are in a far more exclusive club.’
The pair then went to battle in a tit-for-tat Twitter tête-à-tête over which air force was set up first before then turning the conversation to space.
‘Okay okay, so you’ve got some pretty cool traditions in the @RoyalNavy but it’s time to bring the big guns out ...We have a Space Force #DropTheMic,’ said Jacob.
Responding, HMS Prince of Wales said: ‘You can't be claiming a Joint Command all for yourselves.....plus everyone knows they are called spaceships! @astro_timpeake of the @BritishArmy was the first of us into space.’
The jovial debate between the pair amused Jacob’s father, Andy – an army veteran who runs his son’s Twitter account.
‘It was painful though being an ex-squaddie (to defend the RAF) but like any dad you’ve got to have your son’s back,’ he said before praising the Portsmouth ship for its sense of humour, adding: ‘I think it’s great when such a high-profile Twitter account like HMS Prince of Wales can engage in a light-hearted manner with the general public… It shows they are real people running them.’
A spokesman for HMS Prince of Wales told The News: ‘We think that we should make sure Jacob has a well-rounded tri-service education. We may have to arrange a tour of Prince of Wales in the future to ensure that he is fully briefed.’
Jacob is currently raising money for a hospice which cared for his late mother, Andrea, before she died last year.
To help, see justgiving.com/fundraising/jacob-newson1