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Thursday, January 08, 2004 News - UK - Royal start for world's largest liner
Reaching back to a classier age:

THE world’s largest and most expensive ocean liner was named by the Queen at Southampton yesterday.

French-built and American-owned, the Queen Mary II, which rises as high as a 23-storey building, will sail under the British flag.

After a 90-minute tour of the 1,132ft-long vessel, the Queen pressed a button and the traditional bottle of champagne smashed against the side of the 150,000-tonne liner.

There was loud applause as ticker-tape rained down on the 2,000 guests.

It was the first time the Queen had named a Cunard ship since the 1967 launch on the Clyde of the QE2, whose Southampton- New York service will be taken over by the 2,620-passenger QM2 in April.

The original Queen Mary was launched on the Clyde by the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1934.

The Queen, walking with the aid of a cane after a recent knee operation, visited the ship’s planetarium, library, bridge and one of the pool areas before the ceremony.
Posted at 9:39 PM by John.

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