Three years intensive work was put into Vanguard before she was ready for launching and on 30 November 1944, St Andrew's Day, the then Princess Elizabeth performed the customary ceremony with a bottle of Empire wine. Eighteen months in the fitting out basin followed and on 25th April 1946 she was commissioned for trials and the White Ensign was first hoisted. Captain W.G. Agnew. RN., one of the best-known wartime cruiser captains, took command.