The Queen described the 65,000-tonne carrier as the “best of British”, suitable as the ship is the largest ever for the Royal Navy.
Her Majesty was accompanied by her daughter, Princess Anne who was dressed in Naval uniform. Upon arrival, Princess Anne joined her mother in inspecting the guard on parade after the national anthem was played.
Arriving on the hangar deck where 3,700 guests were waiting, The Queen took a lift installed for the occasion.
Speaking to the crowd, which included Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, The Queen said: “We are gathered here in Portsmouth today just a short distance from HMS Victory, a flagship of our seafaring past and a reminder of the debt we owe to the Royal Navy which for more than 500 years has protected the people of this country and our interests around the world.”
Prime Minister Theresa May was to attend but cancelled the day before due to Brexit negotiations.
“Like HMS Victory, HMS Queen Elizabeth embodies the best of British technology and innovation, a true flagship for the 21st century,” The Queen continued.
“The most powerful and capable ship ever to raise the White Ensign, she will in the years and decades ahead represent the country’s resolve on the global stage.
Defence Secretary Williamson noted that the day “marks the start of a hugely significant chapter for the Royal Navy” adding how HMS Prince of Wales is following.
Continuing, he said: “Our new aircraft carrier is the epitome of British design and dexterity, at the core of our efforts to build an Armed Forces fit for the future.
“For the next half a century both carriers will advance our interests around the globe, providing the most visible symbol of intent and commitment to protect the UK from intensifying threats, wherever they may come.”
No celebration would be complete without cake, and fitting to the most extensive vessel for the Royal Navy was a ship-shaped cake created by 20 fruitcakes. Sadly, the cake was not for eating but will instead be on permanent display at the tri-service catering school at Worthy Down near Winchester, Hampshire.