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Issue Date: 07/12/2017
Issue Name: HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier Official Commissioning
Producer: Buckingham Covers
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of Supercarrier, the largest warship ever built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy and capable of carrying up to forty aircraft. Tens of thousands of people lined the walls of Portsmouth harbour to welcome the UK’s £3bn aircraft carrier, which has berthed at its home port for the first time.
Our lovely HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier limited edition cover commemorates her official commissioning and features an Ensign flage stamp and a 'New Aircraft Carrier H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth' Portsmouth postmark (7th December, 2017 - the date of her official commissioning), along with a special cachet and has been produced in partnership with The National Museum of the Royal Navy.
HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier
For more than a century, the Royal Navy has led the way in operating aircraft from ships, and designing and building specialist aircraft carriers.
Heavier-than-air aircraft developed extraordinarily quickly following the Wright Brothers first powered flight in 1903. By the end of the First World War, the Royal Navy was operating the first truly modern aircraft carriers, with a long flush deck running the length of the ship from which aircraft could take-off and land, centre-line aircraft lifts connected to spacious hangars below, and an island superstructure on the starboard side.
Carrier-launched aircraft evolved to have greater range, precision and striking power than naval guns, and during the Second World War, aircraft carriers dramatically changed the nature of naval combat.
Devastating carrier strikes like the Royal Navy’s attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto in 1940, or the Imperial Japanese Navy’s attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941, altered the course of the war, and in the Pacific, the US and Japanese fleets fought the first naval battles where the ships involved never sighted each other. By 1945 aircraft carriers had replaced battleships as the Royal Navy’s most important capital ships, and carrier aviation has remained at the heart of British naval strategy ever since.
The arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017 and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales in 2020 will ensure that the Royal Navy’s continued ability to project power around the world to defend the key strategic interests of Great Britain and her allies, friends and partners will continue for decades to come.
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