When did White Star Line lose the mail service

Mette McCall

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Mar 27, 2011
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I'm writing about the demise of WSL and know that at some point the transatlantic mail delivery shifted from ship to airmail - the loss of this lucrative mail delivery must have been quite a blow to the company. Does anyone know approximately when the WSL ships stopped being RMS and just SS?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Airmail was an (expensive) alternative, not a replacement for surface mail. And even when Cunard first declined a mail contract for the QE2 in the late '60s, the ship's name was still prefixed by RMS. As is that of the 21st Century Queen Mary 2, which occasionally flies the Royal Mail pennant so presumably does have a contract. Not that it means much these days.
 
Aug 8, 2007
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According to Wikipedia, Queen Mary 2 had the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) title conferred on her, as a gesture to Cunard's history, by Royal Mail when she entered service in 2004 on the Southampton to New York route. I couldn't find any information to confirm this, but I remember something about there being a token bag of mail placed on board for the maiden voyage in order to legitimately carry the RMS title.

Currently, QM2 is one of only three vessels in the world to carry the RMS title; the other two are RMS Segwun, which serves as a passenger vessel in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, and RMS St Helena, which serves the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. The QE2 had also retained the RMS designation prior to her retirement.
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Ummm...White Star merged its North Atlantic operations with Cunard, and disposed of its other services, in 1934, and its last surviving ship, Britannic III, was retired in 1960. By 2004, both the line and its ships were just distant memories.