ROYAL Navy warship the HMS Prince of Wales arrived in Portsmouth for the first time this afternoon (Saturday).

News of her impending arrival was reported on the County Press website yesterday (Friday).

It is estimated that thousands of people visited the area to welcome the ship — which is 280 metres in length and weighs 65,000 tonnes — as two Hawk jets and a Wildcat helicopter completed a ceremonial fly-past.

Captain Darren Houston, the Commanding Officer of the HMS Prince of Wales, said: “Our first entry to Portsmouth represents the successful culmination of the build and sea trials period in which my ship’s company and industry partners have worked so closely together to bring HMS Prince of Wales into service with the fleet.

“I am extremely proud of them and their families for their perseverance, patience, and extraordinary efforts.”

The HMS Prince of Wales’ sister ship, Queen Elizabeth, is currently undergoing flight trials with British F-35B aircraft off the coast of the United States.