HMS Prince Of Wales

BLOG: Falling In Love On HMS Prince of Wales

Our reporter Simon Thornton got absolutely smitten on a trip to the Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier...

HMS Prince Of Wales

Having seen HMS Queen Elizabeth arrive at her new home in Portsmouth last month (yes, that's me 'fanboying' in the selfie below), you'd think I'd be used to seeing one of the new carriers.

I thought that too.

But as I walked out into the dry dock at Rosyth – where HMS Prince of Wales is being built – I looked up and suddenly realised I wasn't.

Here I was, trying to act professional, and I'm 'fanboying' again.

Look at the size of her though. It's a different story being right underneath the bow of a carrier – almost within touching distance.

HMS Prince Of Wales

Composing myself, we climbed aboard, taking a seemingly never-ending staircase (my legs still hurt!) straight to the flight deck.

This was my moment to get a photo taken – work could wait!

What's striking about being up there is the view. Standing taller than Niagara Falls and nestled in the Firth of Forth you get an awesome view of the new Queensferry Crossing.

HMS Prince Of Wales

Once we'd done an interview up on the flight deck, it was time to start our guided exploration of the ship.

The tour took us down windy corridors and up and down ladders, but I'm fairly sure we barely scratched the surface.

Here's the video from the GoPro I had strapped to my shoulder.

We saw a very impressive fully automated weapon handling system, the operations room and the admiral's bridge.

Despite the ship being a long way from completion, with wires hanging from every crook and cranny, there was a lot to see.

A lot of the rooms only look incomplete because of the covers protecting finished surfaces.

HMS Prince Of Wales

In fact, I was told that some rooms are locked externally when they're completed and won't be opened again until the ship is ready to launch.

The most impressive room is the hangar. The word of the day today is big… It was very big.

It's currently being used as a workspace and storage facility for the workers - but when it's operational this space will be crammed with F-35 fighter jets and even Chinooks.

HMS Prince Of Wales

One Royal Navy Petty Officer told me that he couldn't wait to throw a party in here for foreign dignitaries or guests (because apparently that's something that happens on aircraft carriers… or it soon will be).

On the way back a wrong turn down a corridor, and then a hatch and then another corridor meant that I was quickly trying to retrace my steps.

Speaking to workers onboard, I found out that even they get lost from time to time.

HMS Prince Of Wales

Workers and engineers usually work on one area of the ship and when they stray away from their chartered territory all bets are off.

Once back we got off the ship it was time for a team photo – it wasn't just me that was smitten!

HMS Prince Of Wales