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

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

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

Most Read