Cruise Line History – Cunard Line’s QE 2 – Dates with Royalty Commemorative “Farewell” Menu


Front menu cover picture: Her Majesty The Queen, with Captain Warwick and Cunard Chairman Sir Basil Smallpiece, inspects the Britannia figurehead in the Britannia restaurant (now Mauretania Restaurant). 1 May 1969

(Thanks to Dan Cottle and his interesting website

To recognize the 2008 Farewell Season of QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, Cunard’s UK Public Relations Department presented to passengers commemorative and informative menu covers detailing some of the special events and history of the ocean liner. For the next several days, while the ship is enroute to her final destination in Dubai, I would like to share the information found within the pages of the menu. These menus were presented during her 806th and final transatlantic crossing, 17 October – 21 October 2008.

Queen Elizabeth 2:

Dates with Royalty

The Royal Family has shown a great interest in QE2 throughout her life from before her  launch right to a farewell visit paid to the ship in June this year by Her Majesty The Queen. And not many ships can claim to have a prince as its first “passenger”!


14 July HRH The Duke of Edinburgh toured the uncompleted liner and lunched with the Cunard and John Brown Chairmen.

20 September QE2 was launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Princess Margaret.


20 February HRH Princess Margaret opened the QE2 Exhibition at the Design Centre in London.

19 November HRH Prince Charles sailed on board from the shipyard in Clydebank to drydock in Greenock.


1 May HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited in Southampton continuing the tradition set by Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.

16 May While outward bound through Spithead on her second westbound voyage QE2 passed through the assembled multi-national fleet of NATO which HM the Queen was reviewing from the Royal Yacht Britannia. QE2 blew a loyal greeting as she drew abreast of the Royal Yacht.

29 May HRH The Duke of Edinburgh again visited and toured the ship in Southampton while presenting the 1969 Council of Industrial Design Awards.


5 March HRH Princess Margaret paid an informal visit in Barbados. Accompanied by Lord Snowdon and a party of 13 she toured all the public rooms, lunched in the Grill Room and enjoyed refreshments in the Captain’s Cabin and Midships Bar.


May For QE 2’s tenth anniversary, HM The Queen sent a message to QE2’s Captain which read:

“I wish her God speed and you and your officers and crew every success in adding to the one million five hundred thousand miles already sailed”.


11 June QE2 was welcomed home in Southampton following service in the Falklands War by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on board Royal Yacht Britannia.

2 December HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lunched on board in Southampton and unveiled a Falklands Plaque.


3 May HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lunched on board in Southampton to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Queen Mary’s maiden voyage in 1936.


29 Apri HRH The Princess of Wales sailed on board to attend a children’s party and Concorde made a special flypast to mark the ship’s successful re-engining.


14 December HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lunched on board to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of her launching the Queen Elizabeth in 1938.


27 July Royal review of Cunard and Royal Navy ships at Spithead by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on board Royal Yacht Britannia. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh transferred to QE2 by Royal Barge. The Queen then became the first reigning monarch to sail on a commercial liner with passengers.


15 June HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Prince Edward attended a Royal Ball on board in Southampton.


12 June HRH Prince Edward lunched on board to celebrate 40th Anniversary of The Queen’s accession. He sailed on the ship and left by helicopter.

5 August HM The Queen and HRH Prince Andrew visited in Southampton to join the 175th anniversary of the British Sailors’ Society. After the service Her Majesty boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia and accompanied by HMS York and Patricia she reviewed various units of the Merchant Fleet including QE2.


4 June HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh reviewed QE2 from the Royal Yacht Britannia as part of the 50th Anniversary of ‘D-Day’ Commemorations. Also on board Britannia for the review: HM The Queen Mother; HRH Princess Margaret and HRH Princess Anne.

17 December HRH Prince Andrew was guest of honor at lunch on board in Southampton to mark return to service after major refit.


17 July HRH Princess Anne lunched on board in Edinburg prior to QE2 leading the Tall Ships out of the Firth of Forth.


28 September HRH Prince Edward attended a Boyal Ball on board in Southampton.


1 May On the day that QE2 handed over flagship status to  QM2, Buckingham Palace set the following message:

“Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh remember with pleasure their many visits to the ship and send their best wishes to you for a memorable event”.


28 July HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh reviewed QE2 from HMS Endurance as part of the Trafalgar 200 Celebrations off Spithead.


2 June HM The Queen lunched on board as part of her farewell visit.

11 November HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is scheduled to visit QE2 on her last day in the UK.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.