The British Royal Navy has commissioned aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales into the naval fleet during a ceremony at HM Naval Base Portsmouth.
HMS Prince of Wales is the second Royal Navy aircraft carrier to be commissioned. HMS Queen Elizabeth, the lead ship in the class, was commissioned in December 2017.
The ceremony was attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the ship’s sponsor.
Other officials who have graced the event include the First Sea Lord admiral Tony Radakin and US Sixth Fleet commander vice-admiral Lisa Franchetti.
The £3.1bn, 65,000t carrier is the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy.
HMS Prince of Wales commanding officer captain Darren Houston said: “As we lower the Blue Ensign and raise the White Ensign, this day marks the culmination of over a decade of work by the country’s maritime and shipbuilding industry who have come together with the Ministry of Defence to deliver this magnificent ship through the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.”
The ship is heavier and larger than its fellow aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
It is equipped with two gas turbines and four diesel engines.
The commissioning comes after the ship completed its first sea trials since leaving Rosyth in September.
The carrier sailed into its home base of Portsmouth for the first time last month.
The two vessels docked together for the first time at the naval base earlier this month. HMS Prince of Wales recently completed operational trials with British F-35 fighter jets.