Royal Navy: Why was HMS Queen Elizabeth's sailing to Rosyth from Portsmouth delayed - when will she leave

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The Royal Navy has responded after an aircraft carrier's departure from Portsmouth today was changed at the last minute.

HMS Queen Elizabeth was due to set sail for Rosyth in Scotland this afternoon, but this has now been pushed back to tomorrow morning (March 5). According to KHM Shipping Movements, she will leave the HMNB Portsmouth at 11am.

Speculation of high winds putting a stop to her departure was circulating on social media. The tide needs to be low for the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier to sail under the Forth Road bridge. A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: "The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is preparing for her sailing window to travel to Rosyth in Scotland so any necessary repairs can be carried out on her starboard propeller shaft coupling.

HMS Queen Elizabeth's departure from Portsmouth was delayed today. She is due to sail to Rosyth in Scotland to fix a mechanical fault discovered in February, before she was due to join Nato allies on Exercise Steadfast Defender.HMS Queen Elizabeth's departure from Portsmouth was delayed today. She is due to sail to Rosyth in Scotland to fix a mechanical fault discovered in February, before she was due to join Nato allies on Exercise Steadfast Defender.
HMS Queen Elizabeth's departure from Portsmouth was delayed today. She is due to sail to Rosyth in Scotland to fix a mechanical fault discovered in February, before she was due to join Nato allies on Exercise Steadfast Defender. | Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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"As ever, sailing will be subject to suitable tide and weather conditions." HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to stop at The Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan to deliver munitions before heading to the dry dock where she was built. The jetty is being refurbished by VolkerStevin as part of a £67m contract.

The aircraft carrier's crew were preparing to lead the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG) at the beginning of February for exercises in the North Sea. She would have joined Exercise Steadfast Defender - Nato's largest deployment since The Cold War - but mechanical issues were found in pre-sailing checks. The fault was discovered on February 4.

HMS Queen Elizabeth's sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, replaced her on the operations and has recently been carrying out training regimes with international ships on Exercise Joint Warrior. The Royal Navy launched an investigation into the fault and said it was caused by "wear and tear". The Earl of Minto, Conservative member of the House of Lords, previously said the ship is returning to Scotland "to find out exactly what is wrong."

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