QE-class aircraft carriers

Crowds gather for HMS Queen Elizabeth's dark departure into the Solent

HMS Queen Elizabeth has left her Portsmouth home in the darkness of the night.

The flagship of the Royal Navy is embarking on a "routine exercise and routine training", according to Navy bosses.

Despite her leaving after dark, hundreds of well-wishers turned up and lined up along the walls to see her off.

The Navy has not given any further detail as to what the flagship would be doing beyond the routine exercise and training.

Noticeable in the darkness of the night were the bright points of light of the tugs, which assisted in moving the 920ft (280m) ship away from her berth and turning her around, and the flashing blue lights of the police launches, keeping the area clear.

With that assistance, HMS Queen Elizabeth made it safely out of the harbour, to the delight of the crowds. 

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