The Mayor of Burnley had a meeting with “Royalty” with a difference when she was a guest of honour on board one of the world’s most impressive ships.
Councillor Anne Kelly was among a small group of Civic visitors taking part in an official reception on board HMS The Prince of Wales as it was docked on the River Mersey in Liverpool.
Coun. Kelly met its Captain Darren Houston and exchanged gifts with him during a tour of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier.
The Mayor presented him with a cut glass paper weight and Borough of Burnley crest and received a commemorative ship’s plaque in return.
Coun. Kelly said: “It was an amazing experience to be invited onto the HMS Prince of Wales and meet the captain of the Royal Navy’s largest aircraft carrier.
“We were the only people to give a gift and the Captain assured us that the Burnley crest would be displayed in the wardroom. We were treated like royalty, with a cocktail party and then music from the band of the Royal Marines. It was an unforgettable day.”
The 65,000-tonne carrier is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK and, along with its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, is the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy.
Its flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long – the equivalent of three football pitches.
Capt. Houston joined HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2016 as its commander and helped guide the ship through contractor sea trials and her first deployment to the United States for trials with the F35 Lightning jet fighter before taking command of the Prince of Wales.
Thousands of visitors are expected to line the docks to see the carrier during its short stay in the port.
Pictured is the Mayor (centre) presenting Captain Houston (right) with Civic gifts, watched by the Mayor's Consort Mr John Kelly.