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Queen Elizabeth

Royal Wedding Celebrations On Board Our Three Queens

May 3, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria

Last Friday millions of people gathered to watch the televised ceremony of the Royal Wedding, including guests on board our three Queens in the Atlantic Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea! What a wonderful day it was and how special and lucky we are at Cunard Line to have such links to our Royal Family. Today we have guest blogs from each of our Queens to share the celebrations from that very proud day:

 

Freda Singleton

Social Hostess

Queen Elizabeth

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It would be hard to imagine a more Royalist and inexorably devoted to Cunard individual than the legendary Thomas Quinones, so it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows him to hear how excited he was to be combing a wonderful Royal Wedding with a day on Cunard’s newest addition to the fleet, Queen Elizabeth. Talking to him the day before, he said he was as nervous as if he was getting married himself and had not been able to sleep in the anticipation. So, he took himself off to rest in the early evening of 28 April and set his alarm for just after midnight to get started on his big mission – to create Cunard’s own Royal Mile along deck 2 of Queen Elizabeth.

And what a magnificent job he did of it too, with flags adorning the walkway all through from stern to stem, from the Britannia restaurant, past Café Carinthia, through the Queens Room and past the Golden Lion, leading guests on to the Royal Court Theatre.  There were Union Jack flags, hats and bunting everywhere:

 Not least, of course surrounding Her Majesty herself!

Early on the morning of 29th, all that remained was to await the crowds’ arrival at both Westminster Abbey and deck 2…….

Knowing this was certainly the next best thing to being at Buckingham Palace for the occasion, Thomas was determined to uphold Cunard’s standards and dressed to befit the event.  This is how Queen Elizabeth’s guests were welcomed into the Royal Court Theatre boxes…… 

Eagerly anticipating the arrival of first the handsome princes and then the beautiful, elegant bride and her sister, the burning issue was the world’s best kept secret – ‘The Dress’:  Who had designed it?  What would it be like?  A collective gasp of delight could be heard around the ship as the beaming Kate Middleton emerged and the jaw-droppingly gorgeous dress was revealed, the audience was rapt, the atmosphere punctuated only by cheers and applause as first Prince William said ‘I will’ and then Kate. It was as if no-one dared to move for fear of missing the magic of the moment, or the much anticipated kiss – it was almost a relief to stand for the National Anthem!

The bonhomie continued through the rest of the day adding a touch of poignancy to the end of the voyage for the guests who were almost all disembarking in Southampton on 30th, but who nevertheless managed to find time to fit in their last afternoon tea with the extra special touches for this very extra special day.

 After tea followed the last frenzied packing and putting out suitcases for collection, all valuable activities to ensure an appetite for the celebration Royal Wedding dinner, with congratulations sealed by Captain Chris Wells inviting all guests to toast the happy couple and take home the traditional piece of the spectacular wedding cake.  

Executive Pastry Chef, Romualdo Rebello poses here by his masterpiece which was displayed complete with a complementary bridal train!

And finally for those who still had some energy left, an elegant Royal Dance in the Queens Room with none other than the fabulous Thomas leading the way with the Gay Gordons (we could well imagine the Royal Family partying to Scottish music).  For the band break – what else could be more appropriate than the Catherine Waltz and Balmoral Blues!

In Thomas’ own words; “A truly legendary, elegant and magnificently memorable day!”

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Paul O’Loughlin

Entertainment Director

Queen Mary 2

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Preparations for the big day began in back in New York when bunting was delivered ready for decoration, provisions arrived ready to make a celebratory meal fit for royalty, and cases of champagne were stored in the ship’s hold ready to be put on ice for a toast to the happy couple.

In the early hours on the day itself, the Entertainment Staff were up at the crack of dawn to prepare the ship’s public areas for the day’s festivities. Festive bunting was hung around the Queens Room, and at the entrances to the Royal Court Theatre, Illuminations and Golden Lion Pub where guests could watch a live feed of the events taking place in London, around 1,500 nautical miles away. Queen Mary 2 was on her Eastbound Transatlantic crossing and two hours behind London time. Time and distance differences aside, the atmosphere on board was transformed and by the time Afternoon Tea was served talk was on little other than the dress, the carriage and of course the kiss.

The order of the day soon switched from observation to celebration, after eating their beautifully prepared Royal Wedding Dinner,  Guests in the Golden Lion pub tested their knowledge of all things Royal with a themed trivia, followed by a traditional British sing along that raised the rafters. The focus of the evening was in the Queens Room, where a Royal Wedding Reception was held. Resident International Band Vibz provided the party music

Social Hostess Gun provided the party spirit, culminating in a special red white and blue balloon drop over a packed dance floor.

Celebrations lasted into the night, but as a final touch, and in British wedding tradition, guests returning to their staterooms discovered that a piece of wedding cake had been delivered by Cunard Royal Mail in a commemorative box. A luxurious end to a lengthy day.

One Guest commented to me ” It was amazing, just as if we were at the Royal Wedding itself!”

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Keith Maynard

Entertainment Director

Queen Victoria

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Proud to be British! 29 April at 1pm Ships time saw 1400 of our guests all gathered in the Royal Court Theatre, Queens Room and Golden Lion Pub to watch the Royal Couple tie the knot. Many more chose to enjoy Room Service and relax in their Staterooms.

The champagne was flowing and the atmosphere a mixture of pride, excitement and anticipation!

As prince Harry cast a cheeky look down the aisle at Kate and reassured his big brother a ripple of laughter and applause erupted from the Theatre followed only moments later by the dabbing of many eyes as vow’s were exchanged and promises made. Several hymns later you could almost feel Queen Victoria roll slightly as 1400 people stood in unison for the National Anthem proud to share in this special moment with the 2 billion people worldwide.

Our guests enjoyed a celebratory menu in the evening, complete with wedding cake baked on board by our wonderful chefs:

 

In the evening our signature show Victoriana had the packed auditorium calling for more as hundreds of Union Jacks swayed back and forth to Land of Hope and Glory!

In the Queens Room Jamie our Social Host added a touch of fairy tale magic into the Victoriana Ball with a special Cinderella Waltz and traditional Bridal Bouquet toss!

There were many lovely comments as guests headed back to their staterooms with their commemorative menu tucked under arms and the phrase uttered by almost all was that today was a day they were proud to be British and what better way than to spend it on board a Cunard Queen, launched by member of our Royal Family.

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  1. Simon John says:

    Nice to hear about your Royal Day on QE Freda Thomas. I guess it is one of those occasions where we will all remember where we were at the time. Me Well i was enjoying my vacation in Wales. My son and grandson friends and myself climbed Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth. The university town where Prince Charles studied.

    We reached the top, admired the view of the bay, then enjoyed the wedding on the tv in the summit snack bar.

    Best wishes to all my friends on Queen Elizabeth.

    Simon John

  2. Steve says:

    Great to know that Mum and Dad will have had a super time on board the Queen Victoria, especially with all that champagne flowing! Me? I was at work :-( But thanks to YouTube I was able to watch from my desk.

  3. June Papadopoulos says:

    All I want to know … is did Thomas wear his amazingly “special” shoes to the wedding?

  4. We were onboard the Celebrity Eclipse on the 29th and you would not have known their was a Royal Wedding taking place. I thought the Americasn went mad for this sort of thing. Not a peep! Shame on RCL.

  5. Sonia and Mike Graves says:

    We all know that nobody does it like Cunard. Thanks for the individual reports from the 3 ships.
    P.S. Any cake left ?

  6. Beryl Moss says:

    As usual Cunard pulled out all the stops and made the Royal Wedding Day a very memorable occasion for guests on all three Queens. The wedding cakes looked amazing – well done to the chefs.

  7. we watched the royal wedding with friends in west cornwall, we were quite envious about everyone aboard the 3 queens, what a wonderful effort all the staff on the 3c queens made, so much hard work but so rewarding for everyone aboard. our wedding breakfast was traditionally cornish fresh warm cornish pasties followed by new season cornish strawberries & clotted cream…. whoops, forgot the bubbly !! what a splendid prince & princess they make, such a boost for the uk after so much trouble & sadness. we should all be so proud. our next trip is the xmas cruise on QE, so looking forward to returning to our favourite ship.

  8. Kenneth Eden says:

    Typical CUNARD, grandly pulling out the stops for a regal, royal occasion. The ships must have been in a frenzy of pure bliss! I got to watch it at home. Today, in the states, the buzz is all bin Laden, with the wedding still getting top tv billing.

    I am one of the few that actually came eye to eye with Her Majesty. It was 1976, Bi-centennial for the city of Boston, and the Queens limo stopped right at my feet, and she was ever so regal, and smiling. That was my “royal” day in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Aside from the Queen herself, the Royal Yacht Britannia was also in Boston harbor, as well and the QE2.

  9. tony mac says:

    the best wedding ever from the royals.

  10. judith sayers says:

    Well done Cunard. Our only regret is that the wedding was not a week earlier when we were on the Victoria!!! Victoriana night was wonderful then, can only envy those who were on board on “the day”!

  11. Carl says:

    Has every one seen the new video from aboard QE2?

    http://www.youtube.com/theqe2story

    She is in excellent condition.

  12. Good to see Keith working hard…. Old friend from Scotland now living in Sydney, back from his teenage years trying to get in touch can you pass him my emails address please..?
    We lost touch years back it be good to touch base with him again
    Thanks Michael Shreenan

  13. Lisa (Cunard) says:

    Hi Michael

    If you leave us your email address in the field underneath your name we can pass your message on to Keith for you.

    Thank you

    Lisa (Cunard)

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