HM the Queen named HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, at a high-profile ceremony in Rosyth on 4 July. The traditional bottle smash was performed with a bottle of Bowmore Surf single malt whisky, aptly known as the ‘water of life’. The Bowmore Distillery on the Isle of Islay was selected for its historic links to the Queen and the sea.
The grounding of all F35 aircraft prevented the first UK appearance of a British Lightning II aircraft, although a life-size replica was on the ski-ramp. HMS Illustrious, the navy’s current aircraft carrier berthed in an adjacent dock. With the latter being decommissioned later this year, it will be the only time the two will be seen side by side.
HMS Queen Elizabeth has been structurally complete since the installation of the aft aircraft lift in May. Weighing more than 55,000 tonnes, she will be flooded up and moved out of the assembly dock for final fitting out.