Prince Charles praises Rosyth workers’ ‘skills and ingenuity’

Prince Charles meets workers at Rosyth. Picture: Jon Savage

Prince Charles meets workers at Rosyth. Picture: Jon Savage

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The Prince of Wales has praised the “skills and ingenuity” of workers building the new aircraft carrier bearing his name as he oversaw the final section being lowered into place.

Charles toured the 65,000-tonne HMS Prince of Wales at Rosyth dockyard on the Firth of Forth in Fife yesterday, speaking to construction workers and crew members.

Prince Charles meets workers at Rosyth. Picture: Jon Savage

Prince Charles meets workers at Rosyth. Picture: Jon Savage

He then banged a gavel to give the order to crane operators to lower the final 570-tonne section into place.

Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, said: “It is an enormous tribute to your skills and ingenuity, and all the dedication and effort that so many of you have put not only into this ship but her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, moored next door.”

The two flagship aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy and more than 10,000 workers have been involved in their design and construction at six shipyards around the UK.

HMS Prince of Wales is now ready for final welding to make the vessel structurally complete.

Prince Charles meets workers at Rosyth. Picture: Greg Macvean

Prince Charles meets workers at Rosyth. Picture: Greg Macvean

The 280-metre carrier, the eighth ship to be named after the heir to the throne, is expected to start sea trials in 2019.

Captain Ian Groom, senior naval officer for the vessel, said the royal visit was “an absolutely huge honour”.

Charles was joined later in the day by wife Camilla at an exhibition celebrating Harris Tweed in the Capital.

The From Harris to Paris exhibition at the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel features photographs, stories and video footage to celebrate the local and international spirit of Harris Tweed.

It opens to the public today and runs until August 31, coinciding with July’s Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

newsen@edinburghnews.com