HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH: Onlookers delighted by sight of navy's new supercarrier
CROWDS welcomed the arrival of the Royal Navy's new carrier to Portsmouth.
There were thousands of people on Southsea seafront, in Old Portsmouth and in Gosport this morning - and many said it was an incredible day to be part of.
Mary Hudson, from Havant, was there with her husband John and son Luke.
She said: ‘Although I had seen online how big it was, it was a lot bigger than I expected.
‘It really wowed me. It was so impressive.
‘It is great to be a part of this day and to see her coming into Portsmouth for the first time. It’s a moment that I’ll remember for ever.’
Luke, aged 11, added: ‘It is awesome. The ship was really big and seeing the helicopters too was cool.’
Couple Lucy and Jamie Richards, from Cosham, said it was worth getting up early for.
Jamie, who’s dad was in the Royal Navy, said: ‘It was a bit emotional watching it come in. There’s just something incredible about seeing her in the Solent.
‘It was great seeing the crowds to welcome her. Even though I had to get up at 5am, I wouldn’t have missed this. It’s been fantastic.’
The 60,000-tonne aircraft carrier was visible on the Solent from before 6am as she prepared to arrive into Portsmouth Harbour around 7.10am.
Suzanne Welch and Terry Card, from Portsmouth, said the ship gave them great pride.
Suzanne, 55, said: ‘This is something that won’t happen again so it’s exciting to be a part of it.
‘We love the city and it’s amazing to welcome HMS Queen Elizabeth.’
Meanwhile over in Gosport, there were hundreds of people out for the occasion.
Gosport Ferry manager Clive Lane said: ‘We are very excited for today for Portsmouth and Gosport as people see the ship come in.’
Stephen Leng said: ‘I am so excited and I am Royal Navy so it’s in my blood – born and bred on the Isle of Wight so I have always been near the sea.
‘I thought I would come down and I can’t believe how many other people have too.’
Mark Adams, 50, of Gosport said: ‘It has been a long time coming and now it’s finally here. I saw the Ark Royal come in and I wanted to come and see this one.’