Camilla To 'Christen' Aircraft Carrier HMS Prince Of Wales

8 September 2017, 07:06

Royal Wedding Day

The Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier will be formally named after the Prince of Wales today.

Work on the under-construction ship has been halted for the naval tradition which dates back thousands of years and combines a celebration with a solemn blessing.

The naming will be carried out by the Duchess of Cornwall, the ship's sponsor, with a bottle of whisky to be smashed against HMS Prince of Wales at the ceremony in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife, where the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is being fitted out.

Charles and Camilla, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland, will attend the event along with senior politicians, naval officers and veterans of the HMS Prince of Wales which was sunk during the Second World War.

Sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth was the first aircraft carrier to be built in the programme and set sail from Rosyth this summer.

HMS Prince of Wales is set to follow in 2019 and those working on the 280-metre carrier say lessons have been learned in the construction of the first ship which will make the second "more efficient".

The pair are termed Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and are being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), a partnership of BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence.

Overall, six shipyards around the UK - Appledore, Birkenhead, Govan, Portsmouth, Rosyth and Tyne - have been involved in building various parts of the carriers.

Those behind the project, which costs an estimated £6.2 billion overall, say the QE Class will be the centrepiece of Britain's naval capability with an aircraft carrier permanently available to be deployed anywhere in the world in military or humanitarian action.

Stephen Moorhouse was named the first seagoing captain of HMS Prince of Wales this week and will take over from captain Ian Groom, currently the Senior Naval Officer on board the ship during the carrier's build programme.

Captain Moorhouse is a former Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean and HMS Lancaster.

The 44-year-old said: "Seeing our sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth make her debut in Portsmouth last month was an amazing sight and I look forward to one day bringing HMS Prince of Wales home to the same warm welcome.

"Until then the ship's company in Rosyth will continue to grow and they have much to be proud of in all the work they have done so far, working with our civilian industry partners to bring this ship to life."

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