HRH, The Prince of Wales, has given the nation’s future aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, the Royal seal of approval.
He visited the ship in Rosyth for the first time and signalled for the final structural section to be lowered into place.
In a historic moment for the second largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, the ship's company stood proud on the flight deck to watch the 570-tonne block being lowered by a Goliath crane.
Once the final block, known as Sponson 11, was firmly in place, HRH, The Prince of Wales said:
"I feel even more proud of everyone who has contributed to the build of HMS Prince of Wales. Nothing could have given me greater pleasure than to be with you here today."
The Senior Naval Officer of HMS Prince of Wales, Captain Ian Groom MBE, who is responsible for leading the men and women who will operate the 65,000 tonne ship, said:
"We are delighted to have HRH Duke of Rothesay here today to mark such a significant milestone in the life of the ship, drawing the construction phase of the Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier to a close. The focus now moves to commissioning the ship and my team will continue to work with their Industry partners to bring her to life ahead of sea trials in 2018."
Ian Booth, Managing Director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said:
"This moment marks the end of eight years of manufacturing for the Queen Elizabeth Class programme across our six build yards across the UK. I know that I speak on behalf of every one of the 10,000 plus workers who have contributed to the design and build of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers that we are honoured to have HRH Duke of Rothesay here to mark this important occasion."
One of the newest members of the 43-strong Royal Navy crew of HMS Prince of Wales, Able Rate Iain Harris (23) had the privilege to meet HRH, and said: “"It is a fantastic honour to be part of the Royal Visit today and to actually meet His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales. Today marks a really proud moment in my naval career and one I will definitely remember.”
HMS Prince of Wales stands proudly in Rosyth along with her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth and will be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2019. Together these ships will be utilised by all three sectors of the UK Armed Forces, providing eight acres of sovereign territory which can be deployed around the world.