The UK’s new fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth entered Royal Navy service on December 7 after being commissioned by Her Majesty The Queen in a grand ceremony in Portsmouth.
In her role as the ship’s lady sponsor, Her Majesty addressed guests before the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, read the commissioning warrant.
The iconic white ensign was then raised, symbolising the commissioning of the nation’s future flagship into the Royal Navy’s fleet.
UK defense secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Today marks the start of a hugely significant chapter for the Royal Navy, and indeed the nation, as the future flagship is commissioned into Her Majesty’s fleet.
“It is an honour to witness the crowning moment of an extraordinarily busy year for the Royal Navy that has seen us name the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, cut steel on the first Type 26 frigates and launch the National Shipbuilding Strategy.”
Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, said: “In hoisting the White Ensign from HMS Queen Elizabeth today, Britain has confirmed her place among the world’s great maritime powers in the most majestic and muscular terms.
“The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will sit at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy, capable of projecting power and influence at sea, in the air, over the land and in cyberspace, and offering our nation military and political choice in an uncertain world.