Now, 41 years later, and with the ship set to retire from Cunard's fleet this fall, it seems only right that Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth 2 is bid a fond farewell by the Monarch.
Mark your calendar! On Monday June 2 the Queen will head to Southampton for a final visit to see the "Grande Dame" before it retires to become a floating hotel out in Dubai.
More details are to follow about the actual event but The Queen has visited the 70,000-ton, 1,778-passenger ship twice before -- on May 1 1969, prior to the Maiden Voyage, and on July 27 1990, to mark Cunard's 150th anniversary.
Since its launch, QE2 has travelled over 5.6 million nautical miles, has carried over 2.5 million guests; has completed 25 World Cruises and has crossed the Atlantic 802 times.
QE2 can never be replaced though Cunard has announced it has plans for a new 92,000 ton, 2,092-passenger Queen Elizabeth which will launch in autumn 2010 and is estimated to cost 500 million euros.
QE2 ship will leave Cunard in November 2008 as it sets sail for Dubai.
-- by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor