Today is a day to celebrate a great British achievement. HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived safely in her home port for the first time this morning. She remains several years away from becoming fully operational and there are serious challenges ahead, both for the aircraft carriers and the Navy as a whole, but the engineering achievement of her builders and the hard work of her ship’s company should be recognised. Here are some of the best images from her arrival.
About to enter Portsmouth for the first time. Accompanied by a Wildcat helicopter, part of the force protection effort
Through the narrows with no problem, passing Spinnaker Tower and HMS Diamond
You can’t keep your eyes off her!
Sailors and contractors stand proudly to attention during procedure Alpha
“The pride felt when doing procedure alpha will be incredible! The day I go into Portsmouth, thousands lining the streets and the world media focused on this behemoth of a ship… that’ll be one of the proudest moments of my life, to be a part of history” Rating serving aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth
Eased carefully aginst the pontoons at her new home – the Princess Royal Jetty
Royal Marine Band on hand to provide a rousing welcome
The First Sea Lord address. “This is a seminal day for the Royal Navy… A generation of workers have dedicated their best to building the Queen Elizabeth class… As we prepare to leave the EU, these ships will demonstrate our commitment to our partnerships and that the UK is outward looking and confident”
Defence Procurement Minister Harriet Baldwin in fine form and talking to media with gusto about the “growing Royal Navy” [cough]