Royalty and statesmen

During her final visit to the ship, the Queen unveiled a commemorative painting of the QE2 passing through Southampton waters
Photo: Getty Images
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Greeted on board by 300 guests, including past and present crew, the monarch toured the ship for one last time before it makes its final journey to Dubai in November
Photo: Getty Images

Among the guests was Baroness Thatcher, who during her time as prime minister comandeered the liner to carry troops to the Falklands
Photo: PA

The Queen bids farewell to QE2 on anniversary of her coronation

3 JUNE 2008
Fifty five years have passed since Queen Elizabeth was crowned in Westminster Abbey, and to mark the occasion the monarch paid a visit to an old friend. At Southampton docks she bade a fond farewell to the QE2, the luxury liner which shares her name and has sailed throughout her reign.

Dressed in a mauve silk dress, matching coat and a Philip Somerville hat, the Queen took a last tour of the vessel before it makes it final journey to Dubai in November. There it will become a luxurious floating hotel moored off Palm Jumeirah island.

Escorted by Captain Ian McNaught, the liner's final captain, the Queen met with past and present crew of the 70,000 tonne vessel. Joining her on board - one of 300 guests invited to share the historic occasion - was Baroness Thatcher, accompanied by her daughter Carol.

Surrounded by photographs commemorating her last visit in 1990, the Queen became the last person to sign the visitor's book. In doing so she brought the vessel's 40 years of hospitality full circle, having been the first person to sign the book when the liner was launched in Scotland in 1967.

Her tour of the ship complete, the monarch signalled a crew member who sounded the whistle to salute the new Cunard flagship, the Queen Mary 2.