Today at HM Naval Base in Portsmouth, The Duchess of Cornwall attended the official Commissioning Ceremony of HMS Prince of Wales, of which Her Royal Highness is Lady Sponsor.
The Ship is the second of Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers and was today officially accepted into the Royal Navy fleet. To mark the commissioning of his namesake ship, The Prince of Wales, who accompanied The Duchess, was honoured with the title of Honorary Commodore-in-Chief, Aircraft Carriers.
During the ceremony, The Duchess addressed the Ship’s Company and gathered guests:
On this momentous day, a new chapter opens in a Ship’s history which stretches back to 1765. She joins a Navy which has protected this nation’s shores, and its interests across the globe, for over five centuries. May I say how pleased I am that this great Ship shares my husband’s name. And now, as Honorary Commodore-in-Chief, Aircraft Carriers, I am delighted that he will have an even stronger link to this Ship and her sister.”
“As your proud Lady Sponsor, please remember that you will also be in my thoughts and prayers. You will serve your country in an extraordinary Ship, at the beginning of an exciting new era in our long naval history.”
Following the ceremony, Their Royal Highnesses met members of the Ship’s Company during a reception. A crew of at least 700 will be required to serve on board HMS Prince of Wales, which is taller than Nelson’s Column and has a flight deck that would fit Clarence House onto it almost 25 times!