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New aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth kept in port by poor weather

The £3 billion aircraft carrier is scheduled to leave Portsmouth Naval Base at some point in the next few days.

The Royal Navy’s new £3 billion aircraft carrier has not made its first departure from its home port because of poor weather.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to leave Portsmouth Naval Base at some point in the next few days.

But the 919ft (280m), 65-000 tonne vessel did not set sail on Tuesday because of the weather conditions.

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The HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to leave Portsmouth Naval Base at some point in the next few days (Ben Stansall/PA)

It had been listed by the Queen’s Harbour Master as having a departure time of 3pm.

A spokeswoman for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), which operates the carrier until it is commissioned into the Navy, said: “Following a successful engineering period, HMS Queen Elizabeth is in final stages of readiness to undertake the second phase of her sea trials.

“She will sail from Portsmouth when we can ensure a safe exit. A number of factors will determine when we sail, including the weather conditions in Portsmouth.

“We plan to sail later this week when we can ensure a safe exit.”

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Thousands welcomed HMS Queen Elizabeth to Portsmouth in August (Ben Stansall/PA)

A MoD spokesman said that a “window” of several possible departure days had been arranged and the carrier would leave when there were “favourable conditions”.

He added the departure listing by the Queen’s Harbour Master has been a contingency plan to ensure tugs were available if required.

Tens of thousands of people lined the walls of Portsmouth Harbour to welcome the Navy’s biggest ship when it arrived for the first time at the Hampshire port on August 16.

It had arrived after undergoing initial training and sea tests having set out from Scotland’s Rosyth dockyard in June.

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