This book was commissioned on behalf of the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, to provide a lasting record of the Ship’s story from the first MOD concept studies in the early 1990s to her initial sea trials in the autumn of 2019. The result is the first comprehensive account of the background, construction and completion of the Royal Navy’s sixth warship to bear the name HMS Prince of Wales, which follows in a long line of commission books that have been published by the Royal Navy’s warships for over a century.
This edition was prepared primarily for the benefit of her first Ship’s Company to coincide with her Commissioning Ceremony. This historic event was held in HMNB Portsmouth in the presence of the Ship’s Lady Sponsor, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and HRH The Prince of Wales on 10 December 2019.
The timing of this project provided me with the opportunity to interview a representative cross section of those who have been involved in the fascinating story of how Prince of Wales and her elder sister ship, Queen Elizabeth, came to be built. As part of my research, I have been in contact with a broad range of people including all of the surviving former First Sea Lords, members of the Aircraft Carrier Design Team, those involved in her construction and members of the first Ship’s Company. This has enabled me to cover the beginning of the ship’s story in a much greater depth than is normally possible when a ship’s history comes to be written in her final years.
To meet the Ship’s objective of having the book ready in time for the Commissioning Ceremony, I had to conclude this instalment of the carrier’s story with the her first port of call, Invergordon, following the initial batch of sea trials to meet the production timetable. I plan to cover more of the Ship’s story in a future expanded edition of this book in due course which will hopefully also be available for sale to the general public. I would therefore be delighted to hear from anyone who has photos and information that could be included within a new edition. Anyone wishing to help this work, can establish contact with me via the contact section of this website
Title: HMS Prince of Wales (VI) 2019 – To Commemorate The Commissioning of HMS Prince of Wales, Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.
Publisher: Royal Navy Decommissioning / Commissioning Books
Author: Richard Johnstone-Bryden
Foreword: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall