I board a flight tonight for London, to transfer Saturday morning to Southampton, where Her Majesty The Queen will name Cunard Line’s new Queen Elizabeth, the third Cunard ship to bear the name, at a ceremony to take place in Southampton, England on Monday.
Along with my journalistic colleagues and other invited guests, I will spend three nights aboard the world’s newest ocean liner.
The Queen launched Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967 and named Cunard’s current flagship, Queen Mary 2, in 2004.
Her Majesty was also present at the age of 12 at the launch of the first Queen Elizabeth on September 27, 1938, when she accompanied her mother Queen Elizabeth to Clydebank for the launch.
Following the naming ceremony, Queen Elizabeth will set sail on her Maiden Voyage the following day.
Other historic namings of Cunard ships by British royalty over the line’s 170-year history include:
- Her Majesty The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, launched Caronia, the “Green Goddess,” in 1947.
- Her Majesty Queen Mary, wife of King George V, launched Queen Mary in 1934 – and in so doing became the first British Monarch ever to launch a merchant ship. His Majesty King George V accompanied his wife.
- The late Queen Mother, as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, launched Queen Elizabeth in 1938. Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret accompanied their mother.
- HRH The Princess Margaret launched Carinthia in 1955.
- HRH The Duchess of Cornwall named Queen Victoria in Southampton in December 2007. HRH The Prince of Wales was also in attendance.