Cunard Line has unveiled the stunning centerpiece for the Grand Lobby of the Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, which is set to debut this fall. The artwork was specially commissioned to David Linley, son of the late Princess Margaret and the internationally famous photographer Lord Snowdon–and Her Majesty The Queen's only nephew–whose company specializes in the design and creation of fine furniture and marquetry.
Designers for the new Queen Elizabeth’s interiors considered the best way to treat the Grand Lobby’s soaring central arched space on the sweeping staircase leading up from the main deck, as it is the first area to greet embarking guests. Linley’s magnificent work shows the port bow of the original Queen Elizabeth seen dramatically from sea level, and is intricately executed using the technique of marquetry inlay with nine individual panels made of various types of wood veneers seamlessly jointed to lightweight board. Featured woods are Madrona, Indian ebony, American walnut, grey ripple sycamore, burr ash, bird’s eye maple, satin walnut, ash, burr walnut and Macassar ebony – all utilized to depict the evocative image of one of Cunard’s most elegant Queens. When complete, the 18 and a half foot panel will be shipped this summer to the Fincantieri shipyard at Monfalcone, Italy, where it will be installed over a four-day period to take pride of place at the heart of the ship just before she enters service in October. The rendering pictured above is the panel as it will appear in the Grand Lobby, a closer look is illustrated below.
Queen Elizabeth will be the second largest Cunarder ever built and will join her sisters, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, as part of the youngest fleet in the world. The first Queen Elizabeth was one of Cunard’s greatest ships, and the new Queen Elizabeth will reflect her predecessor in interior grandeur, décor and style, but with a modern twist. Queen Elizabeth will depart on her Maiden Voyage on Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010. This 13-night celebration will leave from the company’s home port, Southampton, and will call at Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (overnight call) and Funchal. She will then embark on five celebratory maiden voyages to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the Caribbean. For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD, or visit Cunard.com.