Captain Angus Essenhigh , left, , Commodore Steve Moorhouse, second from left, accompany Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II , centre, on the flight deck, during a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM Naval Base, ahead of the ship’s maiden deployment, in Portsmouth, England, Saturday May 22, 2021. HMS Queen Elizabeth will be leading a 28-week deployment to the Far East that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted is not confrontational towards China. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP)

Captain Angus Essenhigh , left, , Commodore Steve Moorhouse, second from left, accompany Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II , centre, on the flight deck, during a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at HM Naval Base, ahead of the ship’s maiden deployment, in Portsmouth, England, Saturday May 22, 2021. HMS Queen Elizabeth will be leading a 28-week deployment to the Far East that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted is not confrontational towards China. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP)

VIDEO: Queen Elizabeth II visits carrier ahead of maiden deployment

Carrier will carry out visits to 40 countries including India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore

Queen Elizabeth II made a quick visit Saturday to the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier that bears the name of her eponymous 16th- century predecessor, ahead of its maiden operational deployment.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, the latest Royal Navy ship to honor the Tudor-era monarch who vanquished the Spanish Armada in 1588, will be leading a 28-week deployment to Asia that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted is not confrontational toward China.

The 3 billion-pound ($4.2 billion) ship, which has eight RAF F35B stealth fighter jets on board, is scheduled to depart from Portsmouth Naval Base in southern England, accompanied by six Royal Navy ships, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and a company of Royal Marines.

Arriving by helicopter, the 95-year-old monarch was greeted by the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Angus Essenhigh, and Commodore Stephen Moorhouse, commander of the U.K. Carrier Strike Group.

While aboard, she was given a briefing on the upcoming deployment and had a chance to chat with some of the 1,700 personnel. The queen wore a scarab brooch that had been a gift from her late husband, Prince Philip, a former high-ranking naval officer who died last month at age 99.

The carrier group will travel through the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, then from the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to the Philippine Sea.

It 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. A total of 3,700 sailors, aviators and marines are involved in the deployment which will cover 25,000 nautical miles.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said the deployment “will be flying the flag for Global Britain — projecting our influence, signaling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow.”

The trip comes after the British government’s review of defense and foreign policy recommended that the U.K. “tilt” its focus towards the Indo-Pacific region, in response to China’s growing influence on the world stage.

“One of the things we’ll be doing clearly is showing to our friends in China that we believe in the international law of the sea and, in a confident but not a confrontational way, we will be vindicating that point,” Johnson said while visiting the HMS Queen Elizabeth on Friday.

READ MORE: ‘I was afraid’: Prince Harry reveals his journey with mental health

Pan Pylas, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Royal family

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read