Queen Elizabeth: Cunard liner returns for celebrations

Queen Elizabeth Image copyright Cunard
Image caption The Queen Elizabeth sailed into Liverpool on Saturday to join the centenary celebrations

The Queen Elizabeth liner sailed into Liverpool to celebrate the centenary of the iconic Cunard Building.

It was last in port a year ago with the Queen Mary and Queen Victoria to celebrate Cunard's 175th anniversary.

The ship arrived in time for a Service of Celebration at the Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas at 11:00 BST.

It was the first time a Cunard ship arrived in port skippered by a woman, with the line's first female captain Inger Klein Olsen, 43, at the helm.

Other elements of the celebration included two concerts plus a finale firework display, before the ship was due to depart at 22:22.

The Cunard building is one of the Three Graces on Liverpool's Pier Head waterfront, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.

Image copyright Cunard
Image caption The Cunard building (centre) was the last of the Three Graces to be built, opening on 12 June 1916
Image caption It was a party atmosphere as crowds gathered to celebrate the Cunard building's centenary

One hundred years of the Cunard Building Liverpool

  • Built on the former George's Dock, the Cunard building was the third of the Three Graces to be built in Liverpool - following the Port of Liverpool Building in 1907 and the Liver Building in 1911
  • It was based on the Farnese Palace in Rome, the family home of Pope Paul III, and was built from 180,000 cubic ft (54,864m) of Portland Stone with 50,000 cubic ft (15,240m) of Italian marble inside
  • The decisions to build the first Queen Elizabeth, first Queen Mary and the QE2 were taken in its boardrooms
  • It was sold to Prudential for £2.75m in 1969, in what was Liverpool's biggest single property deal
  • It was later sold to Wirral Council, acting for the Merseyside Pension Fund for public sector workers, for £17.7m in 2001
  • In 2013 Liverpool City Council acquired the building, spending £5m to relocate 1,000 staff

Image copyright Cunard
Image caption Inger Klein Olsen became Cunard's first female captain in 2010
Image copyright Cunard
Image caption Cunard Queen Elizabeth cruise liner could be seen from Crosby Beach
Image copyright Cunard
Image caption Liverpool's dazzle ship looked very small in comparison to the Queen Elizabeth

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