Her Majesty The Queen visited Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth today (22 May 2021), just hours before the UK Carrier Strike Group sailed for its first operational deployment.
During the 45 minute visit, Her Majesty spoke to a selection of British and American sailors, aviators and marines.
A father and son serving together on HMS Queen Elizabeth have said the Queen was curious about how they got on when they met her during her visit to the Royal Navy flagship.
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 £3 billion 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:
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.”
He added: “We have a good relationship and I am very proud of Morgan.
“I was a bit concerned when I heard he was joining the ship as I didn’t want his experience to be reduced by me being on the shop, but I don’t think it has.”
Petty Officer Matthew Ready, 38, from Gosport, Hampshire, was presented with a medal for 15 years long service and good conduct by the Queen during the visit.
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.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21(CSG21). CSG21 will see the ship along with the Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other Countries Navies and Air Forces during the seven month deployment.
The Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, The Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps. As well as UK Frigates, Destroyers two RFA supply ships and air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS. This will be the largest deployment of Fifth Generation Fighter Jets in history.
Source: MOD and PA