The British Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has welcomed its first sea-going captain, commodore Stephen Moorhouse.

To serve under the local rank of sea-going captain, Moorhouse has taken command of the aircraft carrier that is currently being constructed at Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland.

Captain Moorhouse said: “I am delighted to assume command of HMS Prince of Wales at this exciting time as we prepare the ship to enter service.

“She will operate at the centre of a Maritime Task Group that will support the UK’s diverse diplomatic, security and economic interests around the globe.”

The 65,000t HMS Prince of Wales is expected to set sail from the Rosyth Dockyard late next year to carry out its contractor sea trials.

The handover from an engineering senior naval officer to a warfare commanding officer marks as a major milestone in the development programme of the aircraft carrier.

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“My handover of command to captain Moorhouse marks the start of a new phase that will see him working together with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.”

Captain Moorhouse has taken over the responsibility from captain Ian Groom who has spent more than two years leading the engineering projects related to the construction of the vessel.

Groom said: “I have enjoyed my tenure as senior naval officer for HMS Prince of Wales immensely and I am hugely proud of everything we have achieved.

“My handover of command to captain Moorhouse marks the start of a new phase that will see him working together with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to take HMS Prince of Wales to sea and subsequently into service.”

The first Queen Elizabeth-class carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is being captained by Royal Navy commodore Jerry Kyd.