19 November 2021

Charles cancels HMS Queen Elizabeth tour after F35 jet crash

19 November 2021

The Prince of Wales’ visit to a UK aircraft carrier has been cancelled just a few days after a jet from the warship crashed in the Mediterranean.

Charles was due to tour HMS Queen Elizabeth during the final day of his tour of Egypt, but a few hours before the event his office Clarence House announced the visit would not take place.

The pilot flying an F35, estimated to be worth around £100 million, ejected from the aircraft before it crashed into the ocean on Wednesday and was later rescued.

The visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth has been cancelled (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Archive)

A Clarence House spokesman said: “For operational reasons, the visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth has been cancelled.”

The rest of Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s programme continued as scheduled, with Camilla touring the Brooke Veterinary Hospital in Cairo while the prince met with Egypt’s environment minister Dr Yasmine Fouad during an event highlighting sustainability in business.

Egypt will take over the presidency of the next UN climate change conference, Cop27, from the UK which staged Cop26 in Glasgow, an event attended by Charles where he gave a speech to world leaders urging action.

He repeated his message when he met Dr Fouad at a technology and innovation park in Cairo and held discussions with chief executives of Egyptian businesses about his Sustainable Markets Initiative and sustainable business practices.

During the visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth, Charles was due to meet Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander of the Carrier Strike Group, and Captain Ian Feasey, Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed to Egypt by the country’s president and first lady (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

He was also scheduled to watch the launch of a F35 jet from the flight deck before meeting some of the ship’s company including US Navy and Marines.

Jets from the vessel previously participated in strikes against the remnants of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The 65,000-tonne Royal Navy flagship is returning to the UK from its maiden mission, which included exercises with the Indian military.

It was part of the carrier strike group’s deployment to the Indo-Pacific amid heightened tensions with China in the region.

The jets are operated by the renowned 617 Squadron, also known as the “Dambusters” squadron.

The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Brooke Veterinary Hospital in Cairo. Joe Giddens/PA (PA Wire)

At the Brooke Veterinary Hospital, the duchess was impressed by the newly refurbished institution and the keen horsewoman was in her element, stroking the noses of scores of horses and donkeys being restored to health by the charity.

After officially opening the revamped centre she was taken on a tour of the stables and said: “I can’t believe how clean they are, so impressive. They really are spotless.”

The Brooke has been running on the same site since British woman Dorothy Brooke founded the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in 1934.

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