LAEM CHABANG, Thailand (Aug. 8, 2011) Thai Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana admires an E-2C Hawkeye on the flight deck of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Tatiana Avery)

LEAM CHABANG, Thailand (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) welcomed Thailand's Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana for a tour Aug 8.

"All eyes were on the princess as we escorted her around the ship," said George Washington's executive officer, Capt. Kenneth Reynard. "I'm betting this was the first time most of our crew have ever had an encounter with royalty."

Nariratana was accompanied by several senior Thai military officers.

The 26-year old princess had the opportunity to tour the ship's flight deck, bridge, hangar bay and medical department and learn first hand how a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier operates at sea.

"The princess had many questions and seemed genuinely interested in what we do," said Reynard.

As she passed the numerous pictures on George Washington's bulkheads, Reynard explained what was going on in each of the photos.

Before departing the ship, Reynard presented the princess with a plaque and a George Washington ball cap.

George Washington, the Navy's only full-time, forward-deployed aircraft carrier, is in the Kingdom of Thailand for a five day port visit after completing 56 days at sea and most recently participating in the exercise Talisman Sabre 2011. The ship's mission is to ensure security and stability in the western Pacific and to work with our regional partners.

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