Cunard‘s fleet of three ships arrived in Southampton this morning for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of its flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2.

This was a rare occasion to see all three Queens together with Southampton being the only place in the world to have hosted the three Queens three times.

The ships arrived together at dawn to begin a day of spectacular celebrations, with an early morning birthday salute that saw the tune of Happy Birthday played by the ships’ whistles sounding out across Southampton Water.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will be on board Queen Mary 2 for a special reception and lunch – his first visit to the ship since 2004 when he accompanied Her Majesty the Queen to name the ship.

A ten-minute firework display will take place at 10pm – one minute for each of the ship’s ten years – which will create a spectacular send-off before Queen Mary 2 leads the three ships in convoy down to the Solent. Queen Mary 2 will then set off an a special anniversary transatlantic crossing to New York, with ship designer Stephen Payne and the ship’s first master, Commodore Ron Warwick, among the speakers on board.

Queen Elizabeth will sail on a short break to Hamburg and Queen Victoria will head for the Baltic capitals.

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