The monarch, 95, toured the £3billion warship, which is affectionally called ‘Big Lizzie’, on Saturday in a tumultuous week for the Royal Family which saw Prince Harry drop another ‘truth bomb’ in an Apple TV+ series.
The Royal Navy’s flagship vessel is set to depart for Asia later on Saturday to begin a 28-week operational deployment which will see it carry out visits to 40 countries including India, Japan, and Singapore.
Meanwhile, Prince William visited the General Assembly in Edinburgh soon after launching an attack on the BBC where he slammed them for ruining Princess Diana’s life after her Panorama interview with ‘rogue reporter’ Martin Bashir in 1995.
Despite the eventful week, the Queen returned to work she chatted with the ship’s commanding officer Captain Angus Essenhigh, and Commodore Stephen Moorhouse, commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG), as she arrived by helicopter at Portsmouth Naval Base.
The Queen is still mourning the loss of her beloved husband of 73 years, who sadly passed away on April 9 aged 99, and paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday by wearing a scarab brooch which was gifted to her by him.
She was also left ‘devastated’ after her five-month-old puppy Dorgi, Fergus, who was ‘bought by Prince Andrew’ to help her cope while the Duke of Edinburgh was recovering from heart surgery in hospital, died this month.
It came five weeks after the Queen said goodbye to her ‘strength and stay’ and Britain’s longest-serving consort Prince Philip in St George’s Chapel.
The Queen has visited (pictured) Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, affectionately known as ‘Big Lizzie’, in her first public appearance since Prince Harry accused the Royal Family of ‘total neglect’ in his latest bombshell comments
The monarch wore a rouge button-up jacket with a matching bowler hat for the visit as well as a scarab brooch (pictured), which was gifted to her by her late husband Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen was greeted by the ship’s commanding officer Captain Angus Essenhigh, and Commodore Stephen Moorhouse (all pictured), commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG), as she arrived by helicopter at Portsmouth Naval Base
Queen Elizabeth went on to the warship’s flight deck during her tour, where she stood alongside military personnel to look at a pair of F-35B Lightning II aircrafts (pictured)
Meanwhile, Prince William visited the General Assembly in Edinburgh today (pictured) after launching an attack on the BBC where he slammed them for ruining Princess Diana’s life after her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995
The Queen was seen smiling as she spoke with Royal Navy personnel during a tour of the HMS Queen Elizabeth on Saturday
But the Queen put on a brave face during her tour of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, where she cut a sophisticated figure in a rouge military style cashmere jacket and a matching bowler hat, which was embellished with a stunning floral piece.
As well as touring the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the monarch also presented the 15 years long service and good conduct medal to Petty Officer Matthew Ready, 38, from Gosport, Hampshire.
He said: ‘It was an incredible honour for me and my family.’
He said that the Queen remembered sailing past his previous ship, HMS Illustrious, in the royal yacht in Istanbul in 2008, at the moment the carrier was at risk of losing a Merlin helicopter overboard.
The father-of-two said: ‘She asked if I had anything to do with it and I answered that I didn’t, and if I had I wouldn’t be getting my medal.’
Engineering Technician Marine Engineering (ETME) Morgan Brookes and his father, Chief Petty Officer Paul Brookes, both work in the same department ensuring the smooth running of the £3billion warship.
The father and son, from Gosport, Hampshire, both said they were thrilled to meet the Queen as she visited the carrier at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Morgan, 20, who has been in the navy for two years, said: ‘It was quite incredible, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she is just an amazing woman.’
Paul, originally from West Bromwich, and who has been in the navy for 23 years, said: ‘She said how lovely it was that we were working together and she had quite a cheeky smile as she asked us about it.’
Captain Essenhigh said: ‘It’s always a great privilege to host the Queen and to have her as both our sovereign and our lady sponsor come and wish us well as we set off on a seven-month deployment is something incredibly special.’
This is the route the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will take, reaching Japan this summer after travelling via a number of hotspots that will upset Russia and China
During the voyage, the Navy will avoid the Taiwan Strait as Big Lizzie sails towards Japan in the final leg of the trip to avoid provoking China
Captain Essenhigh (pictured) said it was a ‘great privilege to host the Queen’ on the HMS Queen Elizabeth as well as saying that having her ‘wish us well as we set off on a seven-month deployment is something incredibly special’
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, commander UK CSG, said the Queen (pictured) was looking forward to some peace and quiet, as the F35B jets based near her home in Sandringham would be away on the deployment for seven months
Engineering technician marine engineering (ETME) Billie Matthews, 22, from County Durham, who was one of those who met the Queen (pictured greeting members of aviation assets), said the Queen was ‘very chatty, very smiley’
Commodore Steve Moorhouse said morale was ‘fantastic’ ahead of sailing and added: ‘The smiles on the faces is as much to meet her majesty but also knowing we will get away’. Pictured: Queen in front of a 5th generation F-35 Lightning fighter jet
The Queen wears scarab brooch gifted to her by the Duke of Edinburgh in touching tribute to him as she visits namesake aircraft carrier
The Queen wore a brooch gifted to her by Prince Philip during a visit to the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth today
By Jessica Green for MailOnline
The Queen wore a brooch gifted to her by Prince Philip during a visit to the Royal Navy flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth today.
Her Majesty, 95, paid tribute to her beloved husband of 73 years, who died on April 9 aged 99, by wearing the piece, which she teamed with a brick-red military-style cashmere coat for her appearance at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth.
The gold Scarab brooch, with ruby and diamond embellishments, was a 1966 gift from the Duke of Edinburgh.
She also wore the meaningful accessory in a portrait celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary in 2017.
The Queen sported a red cashmere coat with a black velvet collar and buttons, over a crepe wool dress by Stewart Parvin and a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat.
Her brooch was designed by Andrew Grima, noted as ‘The Father of Modern Jewellery’, and given as a personal gift from the Duke to the Queen in 1966.
She was first seen wearing it during an appearance outside Bournemouth Town Hall during that year, alongside Prince Philip. Her new brooch was pinned to a cornflower blue coat.
It appears to be a favourite of the Queen’s as she’s sported it several times since then, including at the start of her Golden Jubilee tour in Falmouth in 2002.
Another special occasion in which she wore the brooch was for her appearance marking the 50th anniversary of her first televised Christmas message in December 2007.
Then, during a state visit to Slovenia in 2008, the Queen opted for the accessory while receiving flowers from the public.
Commodore Steve Moorhouse, commander UK CSG, said the Queen was looking forward to some peace and quiet, as the F35B jets based near her home in Sandringham would be away on the deployment for seven months.
He said: ‘It wasn’t lost on her they are from Marham, just down the road from Sandringham, so she hears them regularly, so she was just relieved to see them go to sea and get a little peace over her.’
He added: ‘It was an absolute privilege to host her majesty on her flagship, she was really fascinated and interested in where we were going and was particularly struck not just by where the carrier was going but where the frigates and destroyers are going and the variety of the trip.’
He said morale was ‘fantastic’ ahead of sailing and added: ‘The smiles on the faces is as much to meet her majesty but also knowing we will get away.’
While engineering technician marine engineering (ETME) Billie Matthews, 22, from County Durham, who was one of those who met the Queen, said: ‘It was brilliant, she was very chatty, very smiley.’
The Queen stepped on-board the warship just one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the flagship.
Able seaman Chelsea Paterson, 24, from Chirnside, Scotland, said of meeting the Queen: ‘It was incredible, an honour to see her, let alone speak to her, the highlight of my career.’
The deployment of the fleet of ships, named the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will cover 26,000 nautical miles travelling through the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, then from the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to the Philippine Sea.
The deployment has been organised as part of the ‘UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific region’ in a bid to ‘bolster deep defence partnerships’ as well as to take part in an exercise to mark the 50th anniversary of the Five Powers Defence Agreement with Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
The CSG will carry out visits to 40 countries including India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore with more than 70 engagements, including sailing alongside the French carrier Charles De Gaulle in the Mediterranean.
The carrier had not been expected to return to Portsmouth after taking part in a major exercise off the coast of Scotland while the CSG had been expected to gather in the Solent prior to departure.
But heavy winds led to the unscheduled stop in the naval base in Portsmouth with most of the other ships waiting at Devonport to regroup before sailing for the Mediterranean.
Accompanying HMS Queen Elizabeth will be a surface fleet made up of Type 45 destroyers HMS Defender and HMS Diamond, Type 23 anti-submarine frigates HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tidespring.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the deployment ‘will be flying the flag for Global Britain – projecting our influence, signalling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow’.
The Queen smiled and chatted with Royal Navy personnel on the warship soon after her grandson, 36, accused the royal family of ‘total neglect’, bullying and even a smear campaign against his wife Meghan, 39.
The Queen is still mourning the loss of her beloved husband of 73 years, who sadly passed away on April 9 aged 99, and paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday by wearing a scarab brooch (pictured) which was gifted to her by him
The Queen’s visit came before Royal Navy’s flagship vessel is set to depart for Asia later on Saturday to begin a 28-week operational deployment which will see it carry out visits to 40 countries including India, Japan, and Singapore
Royal Navy Merlin helicopters were seen on the flight deck during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, ahead of the warship’s deployment on Saturday
Despite the eventful week, the Queen put on a brave face as she smiled and chatted with Royal Navy personnel on the warship (pictured) during her tour of the warship ahead of its 28-week operational deployment to Asia
The monarch smiled as she greeted Royal Navy personnel during a visit to HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, dressed stylishly in a vibrant red military style coat and a matching bowler hat, embellished with a stunning floral piece
As well as touring the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the monarch also presented the 15 years long service and good conduct medal to Petty Officer Matthew Ready (pictured)
The warship, with F-35B Lightning II jets (above) on board, will depart from Portsmouth this afternoon for a 28-week deployment, accompanied by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and a company of Royal Marines
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the warship’s deployment ‘will be flying the flag for Global Britain – projecting our influence, signalling our power’. Pictured: Queen visits the HMS Queen Elizabeth on Saturday
The ship will visit 40 countries including India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore with more than 70 engagements, including sailing alongside the French carrier Charles De Gaulle in the Mediterranean. Pictured: Queen greets personnel during tour
The Queen put on a brave face after she was left ‘devastated’ after her five-month-old puppy Fergus, who was ‘bought by Prince Andrew’ to help her cope while the Duke of Edinburgh was recovering from heart surgery, died this month
In his latest attack, part of a series on mental health for Apple TV+ with his friend Oprah Winfrey, the former royal suggested his father, Prince Charles, had allowed his children to ‘suffer’ when it came to the media because of his own negative experiences.
His comments came on the five-episode The Me You Can’t See series – part-televised therapy session and self-help guide, part-confessional – which was released in its entirety yesterday. It contains a number of ‘truth bombs’, an insider told the New York Post earlier this week.
In the documentary, Harry described how Meghan shared her darkest thoughts with him, including ‘the practicalities’ of how she had considered ending her life.
He said: ‘I felt completely helpless. I thought my family would help – but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence or total neglect.’
Harry was billed as an executive producer alongside Miss Winfrey, who originally bagged the lucrative Apple deal. But it also included large segments of him in conversation with the chat show host, as well as interspersed footage of Harry at his mother’s funeral and her being chased by paparazzi as a young woman.
It set the tone for what was another slew of accusations against the Royal Family, the monarchy and the British media.
Harry told how frightened he was by Meghan’s ‘clarity of thought’ about how she wanted to kill herself when she was six months pregnant with their son Archie. Going back to his childhood, the prince talked in moving terms of how much he had been scarred by the loss of his mother.
The Duke of Sussex was just 12 when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 in a car crash while being pursued by the press in Paris.
In the first three episodes of Apple TV’s The Me You Can’t See, the royal addressed traumatic memories from his childhood including the moment he was famously photographed with his brother, father, uncle and grandfather walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral.
The Queen also presented the 15 years long service and good conduct medal to Petty Officer Matthew Ready (pictured) while she was visiting the HMS Queen Elizabeth on Saturday
The Queen stepped on-board the HMS Queen Elizabeth (pictured greeting personnel) just one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the flagship, which is set to depart for Asia later on Saturday
The monarch joined Royal Navy personnel Captain Angus Essenhigh (centre left), and Commodore Steve Moorhouse (centre right) during her visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM Naval Base
During her tour of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the monarch cut a sophisticated figure in a rouge military style cashmere jacket and a matching bowler hat, which was embellished with a stunning floral piece
The Queen (above) is seen going on to the flight deck, with a pair of F-35B Lightning II aircraft on either side, during a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM Naval Base
The 95-year-old monarch appeared to be in good spirits on Saturday afternoon as she visited the HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM naval base in Portsmouth
The HMS Queen Elizabeth was set to deploy to Asia for 28 weeks with a number of military aircrafts on board, including the F-35B aircrafts (pictured)
She appeared to be in a social manner as she greeted crowds of Royal Navy personnel, who were preparing for the warship’s departure from Portsmouth later that same day
The Queen’s visit to the warship (pictured) was her first public appearance since Prince Harry accused the monarchy and the media of attempting to ‘smear’ his wife, ‘total neglect’ and even bullying
He said it was his wife who persuaded him, after a row in which she said he had regressed back to his 12-year-old self – the age at which he lost his mother – to seek professional help. This included Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
The fear of losing his wife and raising Archie alone ‘was one of the biggest reasons to leave the UK’, he added.
Harry also claimed that ‘forces were working against us’ as they attempted to quit as working royals, but that he and Meghan were proud of what they had achieved and ‘had no regrets’.
He said at the time that he was ‘feeling trapped and feeling controlled through fear both by the media and by the system itself, which never encouraged the talking about this kind of trauma… But certainly now I will never be bullied into silence.’
Harry, referring to the racism he believed Meghan experienced in the UK, also suggested his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, had been hounded to death because she was dating ‘someone that wasn’t white’ – Dodi Fayed. Buckingham Palace and Clarence House were last night retaining what sources described as a ‘dignified silence’ on the claims.
An exasperated insider recently told the Mail the Royal Family appeared to be at the end of their tether over Harry’s never-ending forays from across the Atlantic and that relationships were hanging by a thread.
They said: ‘Everyone is struggling to understand what he gets from, or hopes to achieve, by interventions like this. It is perfectly possible to campaign effectively on the issue of mental health without talking in such intimate detail about his own experiences.’
In a series on mental health for Apple TV+ with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry (pictured) suggested his father, Prince Charles, had allowed his children to ‘suffer’ when it came to the media because of his own negative experiences
Harry, referring to the racism he believed Meghan experienced in the UK, also suggested his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, (pictured in 1995) had been hounded to death because she was dating ‘someone that wasn’t white’ – Dodi Fayed
In the series, the royal addressed traumatic memories from his childhood including the moment he was famously photographed (pictured) with his brother, father, uncle and grandfather walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral
Meanwhile, Prince William slammed the BBC this week for ruining Princess Diana’s life after her Panorama interview with ‘rogue reporter’ Martin Bashir in 1995. Pictured: The royal family watch the RAF flypast in 2018
The Apple TV series was released in full online just four hours after his brother Prince William, 38, issued an extraordinary attack on the BBC for ruining Princess Diana’s life after her Panorama interview with ‘rogue reporter’ Martin Bashir in 1995.
The Duke of Cambridge said Bashir’s deceit in obtaining his 1995 interview with Princess Diana hastened his parents’ divorce and ‘hurt countless others’ in an unprecedented broadside against the shamed BBC.
His brother Prince Harry – who is based in California – also responded to Lord Dyson’s damning report into how the interview was obtained, saying his mother ‘lost her life because of this’.
The Duke of Sussex thanked those who took ‘some form of accountability’ for ‘owning it’, but said ‘the ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took [Diana’s] life’.
In a recent statement, Prince William laid bare his ‘indescribable sadness’ that his precious final years with his mother had been marred by the isolation the historic Panorama interview caused.
What ‘saddens’ him the most was that should a 1996 investigation into claims Diana was hoodwinked by Bashir have been conducted ‘properly’, the princess would have known she was ‘deceived’ prior to her death in 1997, he claimed.
He said the interview now held ‘no legitimacy’, had established a ‘false narrative’ for 25 years, and the BBC’s failings had let his mother, his family and the public down.
Inside Britain’s most powerful warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth
At 280 metres long, with a lifespan of half a century and a flight deck of four acres, HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built.
Here are the facts and figures behind the vessel which was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy December 7, 2017
HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured, weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck
- The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.
- A number of ship building yards around the country were involved in the build – these include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, Wirral, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.
- A total of 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.
- It is the second ship in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth.
- The ship has a crew of around 700, that will increase to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.
- There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside the ship, and from keel to masthead she measures 56 metres, four metres more than Niagara Falls.
- Facilities onboard include a chapel, a medical centre and 12-bed ward, staffed with GPs, a nurse and medical assistants, as well as a dentist and dental nurse.
- There are also five gyms on the warship which include a cardiovascular suite, two free weight rooms and a boxing gym.
- Regular fitness circuit sessions and sporting activities such as basketball and tug of war are held in the hangar and on the flight deck, with weights and other items stored inside the flight deck ramp.
- The Captain of the ship was Angus Essenhigh
- There are five galleys on the warship which is where the food is cooked and those on board eat their meals everyday. This includes two main galleys, the bridge mess and an aircrew refreshment bar.
- The distribution network on board manages enough energy to power 30,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes.
- Its flight deck is 280 metres long and 70 metres wide, enough space for three football pitches.
- The entire ship’s company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes, 45 minutes when at action stations.
- Recreational spaces enjoyed by the crew feature televisions and sofas, as well as popular board games including the traditional Royal Navy game of Uckers.
- Each of the two aircraft lifts on HMS Queen Elizabeth can move two fighter jets from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.
- The warship has a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles, and has two propellers – each weighing 33 tonnes and with a combined 80MW output of power – enough to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains.