News from 1922: The King and Queen Visit Majestic

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Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
MAB Note: "Saturday" was 5 August.

The Times, 7 August 1922


Of the many interesting incidents which occurred during the successful
Cowes week not the least noteworthy was that of the visit of the King
and Queen to the world's largest ship, the sixty thousand ton White Star
liner Majestic, which took place in Cowes Roads before their Majesties'
departure for London on Saturday. It was a great compliment to the
mercantile marine, whose wonderful record in the war will never be
forgotten, and also to the owners of the ship.

The Majestic had only returned from New York the previous afternoon and
having disembarked her passengers returned to Cowes Roads from
Southampton at 9 o'clock on Saturday morning. There was then a thick
haze hanging over the Solent, but it soon disappeared, and the mammoth
liner presented a fine spectacle lying at anchor off the Royal Yacht
Squadron, well clear of the fleet of yachts in the roadstead and easily
discernible by the large concourse of spectators who assembled along
Cowes sea-front.

Shortly before 11 o'clock the King, the Queen, who wore cream serge and
a blue toque, Prince George, and the Duke of Connaught left the Victoria
and Albert in a pinnace and boarded the Majestic. In attendance and
accompanying the Royal party were the Marquise d'Hautpoul and the
Countess of Shaftesbury, the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, Sir Charles Cust,
R.N., the Hon. Sir Derek Keppel, the Hon. Sir Harry Stonor, Sir Sidney
Greville, Admiral Henry Campbell, Rear-Admiral Henry T. Bulier,
commanding the Victoria and Albert, Colonel Clive Wigram, Mr. Harry
Verney, Private Secretary to the Queen, Captain Selwyn Day, R.N.R.,
A.D.C., and Colonel Douglas Gordon, who was in attendance on the Duke of
Connaught. As their Majesties boarded the Majestic the Royal Standard
was hoisted at the mainmast. Their Majesties were received on board by
Mr. Harold Sanderson, chairman of the White Star Line, and Commodore Sir
Bertram Hayes, R.N.R., who commands the great ship. Among many other
representatives, each of whom was presented, were Mr. A. B. Cauty,
general manager of the White Star Line, Mr. Philip Curry, Southampton
manager, Commodore C. A. Bartlett, Mr. W. J. Willett Bruce,
superintendent engineer, Mr. F. J. Blake, Southampton superintendent
engineer, Mr. J. Bartholomew, victualling supervisor, Captain E. L.
Trant, assistant commander of the Majestic, Mr. Wolfe, chief engineer,
and Dr. J. C. H. Beaumont, senior surgeon.

The Royal party made a complete tour of the vessel, visiting the
luxurious saloons and apartments, the palm court, the swimming pool, the
engine room, the victualling department, and the third-class
accommodation, in which the Queen appeared to be specially interested.
They also witnessed a very smart demonstration of emergency lifeboat
launching. The crew of seven hundred, the majority of whom are
ex-Service men, formed up, and the King spoke to several of them,
inquiring what units they had served in during the war and where. Sir
Bertram Hayes presented to his Majesty Mr. G. W. Bowyer, of Southampton,
and Mr. Wallace Caws, of Seaview, Isle of Wight, the Trinity Service
pilots who navigate the White Star ships between Southampton and the
English Channel. The King and Queen spent about two hours on board, and
on leaving the Majestic the King thanked and congratulated Mr. Sanderson
and Commodore Sir Bertram Hayes on the splendid appearance of the ship
and her perfect arrangements. Punctually at 2 o'clock the Victoria and
Albert with the King and Queen on board cast off from her moorings in
Cowes Roads and to the accompaniment of a royal salute from the
guardship, H.M.S. Barham, whose men were assembled on deck, and the guns
at the Royal Yacht Squadron, left for Portsmouth.

Princess Beatrice, who came from Carisbrooke Castle, visited the
Majestic in the evening, and throughout the afternoon boats from the
Majestic and the Barham made constant trips to and from the Royal Yacht
Squadron, taking off Squadron members and their friends to view the
liner. Among those who went on board were the Duke of Leeds, the Earl
and Countess of Albemarle, Lord Queenborough, and Viscountess Coke, all
of whom had previously visited Mr. Marconi's yacht, Earl and Countess
Fitzwilliam and their family, who are proceeding to Deauville in the
steam yacht Shemara, the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven. Lord
and Lady Montagu of BeauIieu, Sir William and Lady Portal, Sir Richard
Williams-Bulkeley, Sir Charles Wyndham Murray, Sir Lancelot and Lady
Rolleston, Sir Godfrey and Lady Baring, Lady Baird, the Hon. George and
Lady Cynthia Colville, Sir Charles and Lady Seely, Major-General and
Mrs. Seely, Sir Hercules and Lady Langrishe, Mr. Frank Chaplin, Mr.
Crosier Bailey, Colonel and Mrs. John Gretton, Colonel Richard
Charteris, Mr. Douglas Graham, Colonel Bertie, Captain Cave, and a great
many more.

There was dancing on board, and tea was served. The Majestic left Cowes
at 9 o'clock on Saturday night, on her return to Southampton.

Many yachting people and other visitors are prolonging their stay at
Cowes, but the Earl of Dunraven is leaving for Deauville in his motor
yacht Sona, and Lord and Lady Wavertree have left in their motor yacht
Vonna. Several house and yacht parties took place on fireworks night. A
small dance was given on board the guardship Barham and was attended by
Sir Godfrey and Lady Baring, Mr. Charles Baring, and the Misses Baring,
Sir Harry and Lady Mainwaring. and the Hon. Roland and Mrs. Cubitt. Sir
George and Lady Johnston had a dance at Castle Rock, at which the Earl
of Hardwicke, Lady Baird, Miss Percival, Miss Gore Langton, Mr. George
Howard, Mr. Douglas Graham, and Captain and Mrs. Pennington were
present. The Duchess of Atholl and the Earl and Countess of Malmesbury
were staying with Major-General and the Hon. Mrs. Seely at Brooke House
during Cowes week.

The Cunard liner Mauretania happened to pass the Majestic while the King
and Queen were on board. Her engines were stopped, and the bugler on the
bridge sounded the "Attention" and then the "General salute." The ship's
company were formed in line from fore to aft, standing at attention, and
the officers came to the salute. At the same time the Mauretania dipped
her ensign. During the salute the ship's band, which was drawn up on the
sun deck, played the National Anthem.

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