Wednesday the 16th August 2017 was and will be a historic day for Portsmouth, as thousands saw the Royal Navy’s largest ever aircraft carrier come home.
Pride was echoing across the city as the HMS Queen Elizabeth slowly made her way into Portsmouth harbour, she came in at ten past seven in the morning but the crowds were arriving at the Round Tower in Southsea as early as four. Moreover, some people in Gosport even camped out overnight to loyally gaze at the ship.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth was accompanied by a helicopter in the air as she came into the solent. Spectators could see the impressive ship out as far as the two forts and beyond. However, what struck me most was when she came alongside. The sheer size of her was staggering – at that point I was proud to be British, and it takes a lot for me to feel like that!
The facts surrounding the HMS Queen Elizabeth are awe inspiring. For example, it is larger than The Houses of Parliament, and she is one hundred feet taller than Portsmouth Cathedral, sitting at two hundred and thirty-nine feet. Furthermore, the flight deck is as large as four and a half acres, which would allow you to fit twelve hundred Minis onto it. Additionally, two Wembley Stadiums can fit on the flight deck and in the aircraft hangar you can even fit two Royal Navy’s Frigates side by side. She has an impressive four hundred and seventy cabins, which is enough for sixteen hundred people. The bakery
is also capable of cooking one thousand loafs a day, she can even store food for up to forty-five days!
There were ten thousand people who helped build her across five ship yards in the country including Portsmouth, costing £3.1 billion. HMS Queen Elizabeth should be ready for active service by 2021 and will serve our country until around 2067.
By David Taylor