Queen Ann Naming

MS Queen Anne at Liverpool on June 3rd 2024 after naming ceremony
Izzy Clyne (stardust5980), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Some Puffins may be vaguely aware of Mrs A’s enthusiasm for cruising, and in the course of this has booked us a cruise on the spon-new Cunarder, Queen Ann. Unfortunately she was unable to book us a place on the present cruise, a round trip of the British Isles, as Daughter, SiL and Grandbrat had seen fit to take themselves off to Turkey, leaving no-one at home on which to foist Dog.  She’s never been in kennels, and coming up to 7, she’s not going to start now.

Anyway, back to the big boats.  Having not booked this cruise, Mrs A was somewhat discomfited to discover that the naming ceremony for the ship would in fact be carried out in Liverpool.  Nevertheless, we must somehow attend.  (These Liverpool lasses and their ships).

And so it came to pass that your scribe, Mrs A and Grandbrat found themselves aboard Merseyrail’s finest, heading for Liverpool. Exit James St, along with, it seemed, most of the population of Chester and the Wirral,  past a group of armed Plod, H&Ks much in evidence, and walk down towards the Pier Head past more armed plod.  Security is tight and extensive.  When you approach the waterfront thus in Liverpool, you turn right in front of the Three Graces, the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building, surely one of the most iconic waterfront skylines in the world.  The Cruise terminal is right ahead of you at this point, and there she is, all shiny and new.  The Ship.  (All right, if you’re going to be picky, she’s already done one cruise).  The pier head was absolutely heaving, a food village as they like to call it, street entertainers, being Liverpool some of whom were actually quite good,  giant screens, a proper stage-the lot.  Some of the entertainment was much, much better than ‘quite good’.  How about Andrea Bocelli with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra?

And so to the ceremony.  Apparently all ships must have a Godparent.  In this case, most unusually but probably politically adept, the Godparent was announced as the City and People of Liverpool.  That’ll stop ’em nicking its wheels.  The actual bottle of champagne (in this case a Jereboam, Well,it is a big ship) was launched down a zip wire by a consortium of five assorted wimminz celebs, half of whom I had never heard, pulling a lever. (Quiet at the back)

Impressions?  Nice looking ship with slightly less of the ‘block of flats’ styling of some.  Cunard’s retention of a black painted hull may help this visually.  Too many ‘celebs, all wimminz.  Some Liverpool DJ who played a lot of boom boom stuff (another female)  A couple, Matt and Emma Willis, who are apparently something to do with telly, five Liverpool icons, Melanie Chisholm and Katerina Johnson-Thompson were the only two names I recognised.  The ship does have a woman as Captain, but still reversed up the river to her spot in front of the Cunard Building, and was kept there for a couple of hours against the current flow under power.  Marvellous technology.

PS As we speak, Mrs A and Daughter are down at Secombe, watching her sail out amid the accompanying firework display

© Aldebaran 2024