A Helston naval officer was part of an historic naming ceremony last week for the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy.
Weighing in at 65,000 tonnes, the huge aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is 280 metres long, 70 metres wide and approximately 70 metres tall from keel to masthead – making her taller than Nelson’s Column.
Lieutenant Commander Nathan Gillett has been part of the ship’s company of HMS Queen Elizabeth while she was being built at Rosyth in Fife.
Joining the Royal Navy in May 1981, Nathan is the First Lieutenant, with responsibility for the health and safety, diversity and inclusion, standards and discipline for the ship’s company.
He comes from a strong tradition of family serving in the Royal Navy. His grandfather, father and two brothers have all served, with his grandfather starting the tradition back in 1895.
Lt Cdr Gillett said before the naming: “I am incredibly proud to be a member of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first ship’s company and to be part of this truly historic day.
“This will definitely be a day I will always remember, a real high point in my career within the Royal Navy and I feel very fortunate to have been on the right crew at the right time to be included in this great celebration.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s naming ceremony was carried out by Her Majesty the Queen.
Built at shipyards around the United Kingdom but put together in Rosyth, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are the future flagships of the nation.
Once the ships are finished and tested, the complex task of starting to fly aircraft from their decks will begin, with the first of class trials for the jets occurring in 2018. The vast flight deck and hangar can also accommodate any helicopter in Britain’s military inventory and trials for the Merlin will take place in 2017.
The Queen Elizabeth Class will be operated by the Royal Navy, but many hundreds of soldiers and airmen will join the ship’s sailors in operations over her 50-year life.