Princess Anne visits naval base and says Portsmouth is ready for HMS Queen Elizabeth

THE Princess Royal says Portsmouth is ready for the arrival of the Royal Navy's new £3.1bn supercarrier.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 10:26 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:08 am
The Princess Royal at Portsmouth Naval Base. Picture: LPhot Paul Hall

She spoke as she officially re-named Portsmouth Naval Base’s Middle Slip Jetty – which will be home to HMS Queen Elizabeth and then sister ship HMS Prince Of Wales – as the Princess Royal Jetty.

In a visit to the city yesterday, Princess Anne unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion before visiting Boathouse 4 at the Historic Dockyard to mark a year since the museum’s opening.

She met with some of the workers involved in the jetty’s construction.

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The Princess Royal at Portsmouth Naval Base. Picture: LPhot Paul Hall

Princess Anne said: ‘The jetty is here and it is now ready for the aircraft carriers.

‘I can see that there have been a huge number of changes here ahead of their arrival and this has been key in bringing them here.’

Commodore Jeremy Rigby, the naval base’s commander, said: ‘It’s been great to have Princess Anne visit here.

‘She’s a great friend to Portsmouth and, as the naval base’s commander-in-chief, she tends to come here every six months.

The Princess Royal at Portsmouth Naval Base. Picture: LPhot Paul Hall

‘To have her here at the cumulative point where we are getting ourselves ready for the carrier is great.

‘If her diary allows it, she would be very happy to see HMS Queen Elizabeth sail in.’

VolkerStevin were the contractors behind the rebuilding of the jetty, which saw 200 football pitches’ worth of clay used to reinforce the 280m long structure, which was built in the 1920s.

Rob Coupe, managing director of VolkerStevin, said work was in the final stages and added: ‘Princess Anne was on great form and I think she was really pleased to christen the jetty that was named in her honour.’