HMS Prince of Wales commissioned

Posted by Chris Graham on 24th January 2020

The Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has been commissioned by HRH Prince Charles. To date, more than £100m has been spent dredging the harbour at Portsmouth and enhancing facilities, including an upgrade to the Princess Royal Jetty which will be home to both carriers.

The Royal Navy’s two new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, both pictured at Portsmouth

For the first time, both carriers were seen at Portsmouth as HMS Queen Elizabeth returned from a three-month deployment in the United States, to conclude a further phase of trials for the F-35, called Westlant 19. The QE retuned to Portsmouth with an F35 on deck after the aircraft suffered minor technical problems. It was quickly repaired and, on December 6th, 2019, the aircraft made history when it lifted off and became the first F-35B to lift off from a carrier or warship alongside.

The £3.1 billion Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers are the largest, most capable and powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK. Both will have a company group of Royal Marines based aboard, to provide force protection and deliver a high readiness capability to rescue downed pilots, known as Joint Personnel Rescue (JPR).


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