Crowds gather to see off HMS Queen Elizabeth

By Mark Duell for MailOnline

Published: 10:13 EDT, 30 October 2017 | Updated: 10:16 EDT, 30 October 2017

© Robin Jones/Digital South

Crowds gathered today to see the Royal Navy's new £3billion aircraft carrier depart from its home port for the first time.

Around 1,000 people took up a spot by the Hampshire port to wave off the 919ft (280m), 65,000-tonne vessel.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth left Portsmouth just after 12.45pm today as she begins a month-long deployment at sea.

Clusters of people, some waving Union flags, headed for the Round Tower at the entrance to the harbour.

They gathered along the seafront to watch in the sun as the ship – capable of carrying 40 aircraft – left the naval base.

It left as planned this afternoon supported by a group of four tugboats until it was out to sea.

Bad weather conditions saw its departure delayed from last week.

The carrier is due to spend a month at sea around the South West of the United Kingdom.

It will be testing out its radar, communications and other technical equipment, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) said.

© Robin Jones/Digital South© Robin Jones/Digital South

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