The Queen Mother launched HMS Ark Royal when she was built in the Swan Hunters Shipyard, Wallsend in 1981. She maintained a close relationship with the ship and its crew, serving as the company's patron until her death in 2002.
In November 2001 at the age of 101 she joined the twelve hundred crew members and their families to rededicate the ship after a major refit.
Nine years later her daughter the Queen would also visit Portsmouth to say goodbye to the ship before it was decommissioned
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