Prince Charles

Prince Charles cancels HMS Queen Elizabeth visit after F-35 crash

The pilot flying the F-35B ejected from the aircraft before it crashed into the ocean on Wednesday and was rescued.

The Prince of Wales' visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth has been cancelled just a few days after a jet from the Royal Navy aircraft carrier crashed in the Mediterranean.

Prince Charles was due to tour the Queen Elizabeth-class vessel during the final day of his tour of Egypt, but a few hours before the event his office Clarence House, announced the visit would not take place.

The pilot flying the F-35B, an aircraft estimated to cost nearly £100 million, ejected from the jet before it crashed into the ocean on Wednesday and was later rescued.

In March 2020, defence minister Jeremy Quin stated the price of an F-35B was $115 million (around £88.8 million when using UK Government March 2020 exchange rates), covering airframe and engine cost.

A Clarence House spokesman said of the Prince of Wales' visit: "For operational reasons, the visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth has been cancelled."

Prince Charles was due to meet Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander of the Carrier Strike Group, and Captain Ian Feasey, Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

He was also scheduled to watch the launch of a F-35 Lightning jet from the flight deck before meeting some of the ship’s company including US Navy and Marines.

Jets from the vessel previously participated in strikes against the remnants of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The 65,000-tonne Royal Navy flagship is returning to the UK from its maiden Carrier Strike Group 21 mission, which included exercises with the Indian military.

It was part of the Carrier Strike Group's deployment to the Indo-Pacific amid heightened tensions with China in the region.