Captain Richard Hewitt (right) takes over from Captain Steve Higham (left) (Picture: HMS Prince of Wales Twitter).
QE-class aircraft carriers

New commanding officer takes control of HMS Prince of Wales 

Captain Richard Hewitt takes control of the ship as it heads on a NATO deployment.

Captain Richard Hewitt (right) takes over from Captain Steve Higham (left) (Picture: HMS Prince of Wales Twitter).

A new commanding officer has been appointed on HMS Prince of Wales after she departed earlier this week for a NATO deployment in the Mediterranean.

Captain Richard Hewitt OBE, Commanding Officer of HMS Prince of Wales, said on Twitter he was "excited to lead this amazing team for NATO now" and through "innovative times" for the carrier.

Taking Command of the [UK's] largest warship is an honour as we push the limits of carrier ops with 3 new drones, [F35s and V22 Osprey aircraft] later this year," he said.

Capt Hewitt was awarded an OBE in 2020 after commanding HMS Defender in the Arabian Gulf.

Watch: HMS Prince of Wales Commanding Officer on Royal send-off.

Recently, he was the Staff Operations Officer to the UK's Carrier Strike Group and, in the role, deployed on Operation Fortis – the inaugural deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

During this period, he was promoted to captain and as the next Commanding Officer of HMS Prince of Wales.

He takes over from Captain Steve Higham, who had previously served as a security and defence advisor to the Prime Minister.