The Cunard Queens

QE2 Book

Today Cunard is known for its three Queens. Flagship QM2 is the only true transatlantic ocean liner in service, while Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth offer a contemporary Cunard cruise experience.

However Cunard wasn’t always associated with Queens. Prior to 1934, nearly every Cunard ship was named after Ancient Roman provinces, with named ending in ‘IA’. This naming convention helped travellers easily identify Cunard ships in the printed sailing schedules. If it ended in ‘IA’, chances were it was a Cunard ship.

In the 1930s, financial difficulties due to the Great Depression caused hardship for Cunard. Cunard was struggling to build a new 80,000 ton ocean liner, leading them to seek UK Government support. This support was granted, on the proviso that Cunard merge with White Star Line.

In 1934 this merger was completed. That same year the new Cunard ship was named RMS. Queen Mary – after the Queen Consort of King George V. In 1938 a running mate was named RMS. Queen Elizabeth by HM. Queen Elizabeth, Consort of King George V.

The two Queens sailed until the 1960s, and were eventually replaced by a new dual purpose liner – Queen Elizabeth 2 (or QE2 for short). QE2 went on to become the most successful commercial ship or all time.

These pages tell the stories of the six Cunard Queens, and share their place in history.