‘It’s an unbelievable experience’: Families of HMS Queen Elizabeth crew speak of pride after ceremony

Families of HMS Queen Elizabeth crew have spoken of their pride. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Families of HMS Queen Elizabeth crew have spoken of their pride. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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The families of crew members of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier have spoken of their pride in their loved ones.

Able seaman Oscar Russell, 21, from Portsmouth, is the second member of his family to serve on Queen Elizabeth, after his great-grandfather Archer Thomas Russell served on the previous Queen Elizabeth in 1921.

Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

FOLLOW LIVE: The Queen formally commissions HMS Queen Elizabeth into the Royal Navy

AB Russell’s father, who was sitting in the stands of the warship’s hangar for the commission ceremony, said it was a momentous day.

He said: ‘We’re so incredibly proud of Oscar.

‘He is probably the only person serving on the ship now to have a relative who was on the last HMS Queen Elizabeth.’

Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

AB Russell’s mother Dana, 52, added: ‘I’m so excited and really proud of him.

‘This is just something to really celebrate.

‘It’s the greatest ship in the world.

‘It’s an unbelievable experience.’

Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Petty Officer Peter Snepp, from Gosport, was supported by his mother, Linda.

The 38-year-old sailor, who joined the ship’s company eight weeks ago as a gas turbine engineer, said: ‘This is a huge day for all of us.

‘Days like today are what you join the armed forces for.’

Mrs Snepp said: ‘This is a one-off.

‘I’m so proud for him being on the ship.

‘He is the third generation of his family in the Royal Navy.

‘It’s amazing he is on a ship that’s making history.’

Anita Sanders, of Portsmouth, was waiting for her husband Lieutenant Lee Sanders, with his mother and father Colin, 63, and Marie, 63, and their children Nancy, six, and Constance, seven.

She said: ‘He joined the ship in Rosyth and he leaves the ship today.

‘He has seen it from scaffolding to where she is today. It’s amazing.’