Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and Queen Mary 2 approached the port soon after first light, sailing in single file up Southampton Water, where they were welcomed by a flotilla of small boats. Queen Mary 2 turned in the upper swinging ground as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria tied up close to City Terminal. Queen Mary 2 then slowly passed each ship in turn, creating a three ship formation and revealing a “Congratulations Ma’am” message by her funnel. With crew lining the foredecks of all three vessels, the ships’ whistles sounded in salute of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
Her Majesty The Queen has long been associated with Cunard, being the only person to have attended the naming of all three Cunard Elizabeths, beginning in 1938 with the original Queen Elizabeth, then in 1967 when she launched Queen Elizabeth 2, and 2010 when she named the new Queen Elizabeth.
“Cunard is delighted to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a way that gives everyone, especially our guests, a truly remarkable day that they will feel proud to talk about for years to come, taking part in history and marking the sixty glorious years of Her Majesty’s reign in fitting, legendary and memorable Cunard style,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.
While the weather was somewhat soggy, you can see in the following video that it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits.
Events were planned throughout the evening to create a fitting commemoration of Her Majesty’s 60-year reign. The celebrations culminated in an evening spectacular when all three ships were again brought within close proximity of each other and a fusillade of fireworks and special effects lit up the unfortunately foggy evening sky beyond them. Queen Mary 2 then led Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in single file down Southampton Water as all three ships set out on their celebratory Diamond Jubilee voyages.
Photo: Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 prepares to sail past sister ships Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth for a historic Royal Rendezvous in Southampton, England to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.