Queen Elizabeth commissions aircraft carrier with her name

UK England navy royals Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier

REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has attended the commissioning ceremony of Britain's new aircraft carrier, which is named after the monarch.

The 91-year-old queen boarded the Royal Navy's newest, largest and most expensive vessel Thursday in Portsmouth naval base.

The white ensign was raised to mark the moment HMS Queen Elizabeth was officially added to the Royal Navy's fleet. The queen says the ship "embodies the best of British technology and innovation."

UK England navy royals Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier sailors

REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool

It is still undergoing sea trials and will not be fully operational for several years. It will head to the United States late next year for initial flight trials.

Admiral Philip Jones says that with the new carrier "Britain has confirmed her place among the world's great maritime powers."

The ship, which cost roughly 3 billion pounds, or $4 billion, took eight years build. Its construction took place in six cities and involved 10,000 people. It, along with sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, is part of a defense program worth $7.65 billion.



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