HMS Illustrious – the last of the Royal Navy’s Invincible-class aircraft carriers – was decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base today, marking the end of her 32-year career.

The ship’s White Ensign was lowered for the final time during the decommissioning ceremony in front of hundreds of guests.

Illustrious used to operate Sea Harrier jump jets but ended her service as a helicopter carrier. Shehas been replaced as helicopter carrier by HMS Ocean which has just undergone a £65m refit. She will eventually be replaced by two new 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers being built for the Navy – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

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