The Queen will officially name the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, as part of a ceremony at Rosyth dockyard on 4th July, it was announced today.
The naming ceremony will mark the completion of the 65,000 tonne ship which will be Britain’s largest carrier after more than 7000 jobs were created to build it.
The ship will be given a traditional champagne christening before plans to float it for the first time later that month.
It will mark the end of the ‘built phase’ meaning it could be entered into sea trials in 2017 and flight trials with Lightning II aircraft in 2018.
Members of the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s crew, and industry workers who have helped to build the ship, will be among the thousands of people expected at the event on the shores of the Firth of Forth.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said, “This will be a proud and historic day, not just for the Royal Navy but for the entire nation.
“It is great news that Her Majesty will officially name the first aircraft carrier “HMS Queen Elizabeth”.
“This occasion will mark a major milestone in regenerating the UK’s aircraft carrier fleet and its power projection capability, with the first Lightning II aircraft due to begin flight trials off the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018.” Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord, said, “The Royal Navy is delighted that Her Majesty will name this great ship – the first of a class that will return fast jet carrier operations to our nation’s war fighting credibility. “We have a great journey ahead, in close partnership with the Royal Air Force, to create and sustain the best that our shipbuilding, engineering, technology and people can deliver and we are proud to have the chance to show what we can do.” Work is already underway on the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales, which will start to be assembled in Rosyth dockyard later this year.