The Queen has written to the Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Ian Feasey, to congratulate those on board the UK flagship and its entourage of vessels on the completion of the Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment.
Several vessels deployed on the seven-month global mission have returned to UK ports, with the crews wished a "restful" Christmas on their homecoming by the monarch.
"On the return of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH to her base port of Portsmouth, I send my best wishes to the 1,200 Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, and United States Navy and Marine Corps personnel on board the ship," wrote the Queen on Windsor Castle headed writing paper.
"I was pleased to hear of the important work you have undertaken to build relationships between the United Kingdom and more than 20 nations during your seven-month-long deployment.
"I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the wider Carrier Strike Group and hope you all have a most enjoyable and restful Christmas with your families."