This is how HMS Queen Elizabeth is celebrating Thanksgiving in the US 

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HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew are celebrating Thanksgiving in Virginia after finishing a series of historic flight tests.

The Royal Navy's £3bn aircraft carrier concluded the deck trials this week. 

Now the ship’s company have the chance to decompress and celebrate  Thanksgiving after all their hard working. 

Announcing the crew’s plans for the American holiday, HMS Queen Elizabeth tweeted: ‘We are currently in Norfolk VA to offload the F-35 test equipment.

‘A chance for the Ships Coy to enjoy some American hospitality over Thanksgiving weekend; take part in adventurous training and decompress before we commence our transit back to the UK.

‘Reward comes after the toil.’ 

HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York City during a break from historic flight trials in America. Picture: LPhot Kyle Heller/ Royal Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York City during a break from historic flight trials in America. Picture: LPhot Kyle Heller/ Royal Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to return to Portsmouth in time for Christmas. 

READ MORE: Final flight test carried out on HMS Queen Elizabeth

Close to Portsmouth 

While the ship may be thousands of miles away, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew will be spending thanksgiving close to a piece of home. 

Norfolk, Virginia - which is home to Naval Station Norfolk, a massive naval base on Chesapeake Bay – is just across the harbour from the city of Portsmouth, Virginia.

The city was founded in 1752 and named after our Portsmouth here in the UK. 

While the Norfolk Naval Shipyard – different to Naval Station Norfolk – was originally called the Gosport Shipyard when it was founded in 1767 - another reminder of the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s home.

READ MORE: HMS Queen Elizabeth crew celebrate end of flight trials with hilarious Top Gun joke

What is Thanksgiving? 

While America and Britain share many of the same holidays – Christmas, Easter and Remembrance Day – this is an exclusively North American celebration. 

Both the United States and Canada observe a Thanksgiving holiday – with Americans celebrating it today (November 22) and Canadians in October. 

In the US Thanksgiving has been celebrated on and off nationally on and off since 1789. 

READ MORE: HMS Queen Elizabeth: 9 landmark moments from Royal Navy’s £3bn aircraft carrier’s flight trials

The event that Americans commonly call the ‘First Thanksgiving’ was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621.

This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow —it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. 

As part of Thanksgiving, the American’s have a big feast with Turkey and a whole host of other foods – such as yams, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various fall vegetables, squash, Brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie.