I was in the Card Room on the Third Deck playing a game of Rummikub when the news broke of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. The music stopped and there was an announceme­nt from the captain. Everyone was in disbelief and shock, as he told us that the Queen had died. The whole room went very quiet and then people started to cry, with strangers hugging each other. Passenger Rita Moore from Wales said to me: “She is all we have ever known, she never put a foot wrong.” As the realisatio­n of the announceme­nt swept across the ship, the world learnt of the sad news.

The Queen had been on board the MS Queen Elizabeth: she had actually christened the ship in 2010. I watched a show in the Royal Court Theatre from the Royal box where the Queen had sat some years before. The staff were very excited that I was sitting in the very seat that Her Majesty had sat in. Days later, there was a service onboard rememberin­g the monarch, a condolence book to sign and the TV in the Garden Pavilion and the Golden Lion Pub was permanentl­y on BBC so passengers could watch the latest updates of her casket leaving Balmoral and the days that followed.

Passengers swapped stories about the Royal family, but above all what was constant was their undivided loyalty and praise for the Queen. In most parts there was a feeling that she was all we ever really knew, and somehow most passengers felt she would always just ‘be there’ and carry on. It did feel a little surreal that I was on the MS Queen Elizabeth when Queen Elizabeth died.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia