Queen Mary 2 is named and launched into her career
Jan 10, 2004
Queen Elizabeth II officially named the new Cunard liner Queen Mary 2 at a glittering ceremony in Southampton on Thursday (8 January 2004).
This marked the official completion of the huge ship, currently the largest built both in terms of weight and sheer size, although like tall buildings this is something that seems set to be exceeded not before long.
About 2,000 invited guests were present when the Queen asked God’s blessing on the ship in the time-honoured manner, before breaking a jeroboam of French champagne on an American ship flying a British flag in an English dockyard. The irony was not lost on all those who were there or who watched on television, for it well typified the truly global status of the 21st Century world economy.
This was accompanied by the sound of ships’ horns from vessels berthed in Southampton port.
Giant screens in a nearby park allowed the rank and file (otherwise known as the public) to watch the proceedings, which included a fireworks display and music from pop singers.
The new ship leaves Southampton next week (14 January) on her maiden fare-earning 14-day voyage to Fort Lauderdale. In April she will take over the Trans-Atlantic crossing schedule currently maintained by her world-famous predecessor, Queen Elizabeth 2 but before that the ship will cruise in the Caribbean and will also visit Rio de Janeiro I time for the carnival.