Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier officially named

Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier officially named”

The Royal Navy's new £3bn aircraft carrier was formally named in honour of the Prince of Wales during the engagement, becoming the second aircraft carrier in the UK's fleet.

The naming ceremony is a tradition which dates back thousands of years and includes a solemn blessing.

The HMS Prince of Wales, like its sister ship, was built at six different yards around the United Kingdom before being assembled at Rosyth in Fife.

The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been finished and is preparing for active duty.

Senior politicians and veterans also attended the event on Friday, including those who served on a Second World War battleship also named HMS Prince of Wales.

In Scotland the two are traditionally referred to by their Scottish titles, as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.

HMS Prince of Wales will be commanded by captain Stephen Moorhouse, who was formerly in charge of HMS Ocean.

She said: "So I already feel a particular affection for this ship".

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay at the naming ceremony of HMS Prince of Wales
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay at the naming ceremony of HMS Prince of Wales

Six shipyards across the UK - Appledore, Birkenhead, Govan, Portsmouth, Rosyth and Tyne - have worked together to design and build the carrier and its sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

"With two Queen Elizabeth-class carriers in Royal Navy service, one will be available for operations at all times".

With a crew of 679, HMS Prince of Wales is expected to carry out sea trials in 2019 before entering Royal Navy service, with those working on the 280-metre carrier saying lessons have been learned in the construction of the first flagship.

Martin Douglass, engineer and director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance which built the ships, said the Queen Elizabeth had arrived in Portsmouth three weeks ago. "It is in a maintenance period to bring her up to full spec to hand her over to the Royal Navy later in the year".

Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: "HMS Prince of Wales is a prestigious name for what I'm sure will be a most prestigious ship".

'Seeing our sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth make her debut in Portsmouth last month was an awesome sight'.

"The expertise that went into the design, engineering and build of this vessel is a testament to our shipbuilding capabilities in Scotland".

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