Queen’s 55 Year Coronation Marked with QE2 Goodbye

Today at midday, the Queen will wave off Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship to mark 55 years since her coronation in 1953. The farewell will take place in Southampton where the QE2 is currently docked.

Cunard's QE2 at sea

Approximately 300 people have been invited to the sending off. This marks a stark contract to the millions who watched the original coronation on television. A Royal Salute (41 gun) is set to be fired at 12 midday today which will be followed by another Royal Salute at 1pm, only this time 62 guns will be used.

The origin of the number of guns used comes from ancient ceremonies where 21 volleys would be fired to salute the arrival of a neighbouring nation. 20 shots are added to this number for royal occasions and a further 21 if it’s the capital city of London. Ridiculous, I know.

The QE2 will retire this November to become a floating hotel in Dubai after an incredible 40 years of service. The cruise ship was bought by Dubai World for an estimated £50 million.

Comparing Dubai between 1973 and 2008

Dubai Universe

Recently, the renowned real estate developer Nakheel revealed satellite imagery of Dubai’s transformation since the 70s and just how it will look post-2008. The images are actually pretty surreal; it’s amazing to think that this project is actually out there right now. Every single time something gets added out there, it becomes more and more appealing. As you can see from the images below, the coastal area has changed dramatically over the last thirty years and looks like pretty much nothing else on Earth. Unless we’re counting the fact that future Dubai will contain an island shaped like Earth.

Alongside these images, Nakheel also revealed a 13 metre-long scale model of Dubai, to further show off just how much the landscape has been transformed. It aims to be a preview of how Dubai will look come 2020 when the current projects are due to come to an end. The World, then the Universe… what next for Dubai?

Dubai via satellite in 1973

Dubai via satellite in 1990

Dubai via satellite in 2000

Dubai via satellite in 2007

Dubai proposed future