December 19, 2011
We Are Cunard
We left the Queen Mary 2 Refit blog and video up for a week – which is a little longer that we would normally do but it was very popular. Over 15,000 people watched it in the first three days – so thank you all for showing so much interest. She is now back in service and sets sail today on her annual Christmas Voyage to the Caribbean from New York.
Pride of place in the Grand Lobby of Queen Mary 2 is our new portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. Having had so many positive comments of the portrait on Queen Elizabeth we felt it appropriate to do likewise on Queen Mary 2 – after all she is the cherished Godmother to both ships. The portrait was painted by a friend of Cunard Line – Gail Graham. She based it on a photo of Her Majesty that was taken in 2008 when she visited QE2. If I may say so – it is a lovely portrait – there is so much love and respect for Her Majesty but to see her smiling so broadly is terrific. Here are a few shots of the portrait, the unveiling by Gail Graham and now hanging proudly outside the Veuve Cliquot Champagne Bar in the Grand Lobby – a perfect place for us to celebrate Her Majesty as we soon enter the year of her Diamond Jubilee.
So here we are at the beginning of Christmas week. I hope you have all your planning underway for the holidays. My wife and I had our first sense of Christmas on Friday night when we attended Winchester Cathedral for the first of their famous Christmas Concerts. I was invited by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire. We are fortunate to have had a lot of Royal Events over recent years and the Lord Lieutenant and her office are always most helpful in the organisation of such events. By way of a thank you, I agreed that Cunard Line would provide modest sponsorship to her Christmas Carol Concert at the Cathedral – the concert raises funds for the Winchester Cathedral Choir. They are one of the best – if not the best – choirs in the country. It was a cold evening in a packed cathedral but the music was simply magical. We were invited back to the Lord Lieutenant’s house for supper afterwards. To be honest, as it was a Friday after a busy week , I was not sure if I was up for a formal dinner. Imagine my surprise and delight when we arrived to discover that the Lord Lieutenant had ordered a take-away curry for thirty of us – now there is a Lady with style and who is in touch with the needs of her guests. That rather set the scene for an ‘Indian’ weekend. On Saturday I played field hockey against a very well known side by the name of Indian Gymkhana. Unfortunately they are rather good and were just that little bit better than us – we lost 2-1 – never mind it was an excellent and healthy way to work off the curry of the night before.
Later this week we will put up a Christmas Message by way of a short video.
Until then – Happy Christmas shopping. Oh – and If you are not sure what to buy your loved one this Christmas – then after a great deal of research I have discovered the best possible Christmas present. A voyage on Cunard Line in 2012………..