HMS Queen Elizabeth is flagship for post-Brexit Britain, says First Sea Lord
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the "embodiment of Britain in steel and spirit" and will act as a post-Brexit ambassador to the world, the head of the Royal Navy has said.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones said after the Navy's largest and newest warship arrived in Portsmouth: "We are gathered to witness another seminal moment in the long history of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.
"In the golden years of the second Elizabethan age, a new era of British maritime power is beginning.
"And in 50 years' time, people in Portsmouth will still talk about the day they saw this 65,000-tonne giant arrive for the first time."
The admiral said the "hardest part of the journey" in developing the new carriers was now complete and added: "It's not always been an easy path, but with a steady nerve and a deep resolve we saw it through.
"It's a triumph of national strategic ambition and a lesson for the future."
Sir Philip said that, following the Brexit vote, the carrier would play an important role in promoting the UK abroad.
"As we prepare to leave the European Union, I have no doubt that the Queen Elizabeth-class will help take our nation's message of partnership and prosperity to the rising economies of the world, aided by the very best ambassadors we could wish for: the men and women of the armed forces," he said.
"HMS Queen Elizabeth is the nation's future flagship; the embodiment of Britain in steel and spirit.
"In the years and decades to come, she and her sister ship will demonstrate the kind of nation we are - not a diminished nation, withdrawing from the world, but a confident, outward-looking and ambitious nation, with a Royal Navy to match.
"So this is truly a proud moment for Portsmouth, for the Royal Navy and for the United Kingdom
"Today, we've shown the world how to welcome a Queen."