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

Filming of The Baker’s Son in Chemainus. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Bread-making brilliance and mediocrity the recipe for movie ingredients

Willow Street on the map as a prominent location in The Baker’s Son

The return of Community Policing will be a welcome addition by residents. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Return of Community Policing in the works

Volunteers being sought and coordinators to be announced soon

Sonia Furstenau, MLA
Proposed Health Professions Act would eliminate barriers, guide regulations

Is your doctor a member of good standing with the BC College… Continue reading

These Douglas fir logs were found poached in April on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca)
Fines in forest reserve could increase significantly after illegal logging

North Cowichan considering fines of up to $50,000

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read