The Ship’s Company of HMS Queen Elizabeth has now taken up residence on board the nation’s new supercarrier and future flagship. 

Over the last couple of months, the 700-strong Ship’s Company has been navigating their way around the aircraft carrier familiarising themselves with the new and high tech systems on board, undergoing training and eating meals prepared in the state of the art galley.

Living on board marks an important step in the process of bringing to life the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. The Ship’s Company can now become familiar with its new home, socialise together in the mess, personalise cabins and make the living spaces their own.

Key areas of HMS Queen Elizabeth to be used by the Ship’s Company

  • Forward Galley – one of five galleys on board, six chefs serve daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners to the 700 men and women of the Ship’s Company.
  • Medical Complex– a world class facility, termed the ‘sick bay’ will provide routine patient consultations and clinics, as well as urgent medical treatment, minor operations and dentistry.
  • Living Quarters – with the Ship’s Company away from home for long periods of time, the QE Class carriers will be a home from home. With 1,600 bunks in 470 cabins, including accommodation for a detachment of up to 250 Royal Marines, each member of Ship’s Company will be able to use the state of the art facilities on board including a cinema and fitness suite with personnel also having access to e-mail and the internet.

Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd Royal Navy, said:

“The effort from our industry colleagues, Ministry of Defence and Naval personnel to get us to this point has been immense.  It has been a massive team effort and I am proud of every individual contribution.”

Sub Lieutenant Reece Statham-Quilty, Weapons Engineer, said:

“It is fantastic to be part of such a large project, and working within the team driving it forward.  Living on board is a significant milestone for both the programme and the Ship’s Company. We can really see the ship come to life.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is in advanced stages of her test and commissioning phase and will undertake her maiden sea trials programme in the summer. The months leading up to this milestone have involved a range of critical tests to prove the various systems on board, including

  • Successful testing of radars and ship communication and combat systems to calibrate the Ship’s long range radar and its ‘Identify Friend or Foe’ sensors and a live test involving a Royal Navy Hawk aircraft.
  • Thorough testing of the Power and Propulsion system which is all the equipment that ultimately drives the ship. This includes some of the largest and most powerful components used on the ships such as the diesel generators, gas turbine engines, propellers and the ship’s stabilisers. The trials also allowed the Ship’s Company the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the operation of the power and propulsion systems and get hands on training on the systems they will operate.
  • Appointment of the ‘Officer of the Day’– a position responsible for the command and control of the Ship’s responses to emergencies, running the Ship’s movements in harbour and responsible to the Commanding Officer for safety and security on board during the period of their duty.

This work all forms part of the test and commissioning phase for the aircraft carrier, the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth will be a highly versatile defence asset, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world. The carrier will serve as a significant player on the global stage in peacetime, wartime and when conducting humanitarian operations over the 50 years of her working life.

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More excited than a grown man should be to see her. Plans for Sea Ceptor would make me feel less uneasy. No other carrier in world leaves port without equivalent including Wasp class. Fully loaded she’ll be worth roughly £10b. Then there’s the capability loss and a 7-10 year gap to replace. M.A.D.

david simpson

Understand your point of course, except she wouldn’t leave any harbour at this stage armed. Her air defences will already be excellent when she needs them, with Meteor/ASRAAM armed F35s and T45s and T23s with superb SAM capabilities. I too look forward to when she is eventually armed with her own SeaCeptor boxes…


I agree David, I did say ‘plans’ 🙂


I haven’t read/heard nothing to indicate that she will ever be fitted with self-defence missile system (ref. containerised Sea Ceptor as you say). Has anyone heard anything on this??? I would really love to see it but the MOD has been as silent on this as they have been with fitting MK41 VLS to the Type 45s – reading between the lines, this means never.


God bless her and all who sail in her. Let’s hope her brother will stay the course, and not fall victim of Labour cuts in a few years? Alternatively, if the Conservatives remain in power, the odds are in favour of at least ten years???


The Telegraph are reporting that crewmen are abandoning ship in droves.

John West

Dear George Allison – any chance of an article/discussion on Zircon missile. I would really like an intelligent view on this rather than the normal Daily Mail nonsense.

Daniele Mandelli

God bless the Royal Navy!
Please deliver us from Corbyn tomorrow.