The spectacle on which their Majesties looked when they embarked on the Galatea, the dock port tender, was indeed unparalleled. There never has been such an assembly of merchant vessels in review order before. The mere statistics are astonishing.
There were 109 ships in the review. They were of a gross tonnage of over 225,000, and the two lines made a total length of over ten miles. The spectacle was very different from the Naval pageants which stir the patriot's blood at Spithead or Portland Roads, but it was equally a manifestation of Britain's might.
It was obvious that their Majesties were deeply impressed with the spectacle. All the ships were dressed rainbow fashion, all were crowded with spectators, and all but a few had bands to play the National Anthem as the Galatea steamed slowly past them.
Arriving at length at the far end of the line, and passing the warships with bluejackets and marines at attention, the Galatea entered the Gladstone dock. During the voyage in the Galatea, the King and Queen had a long conversation with the stewardess, Mrs Robinson, one of the survivors of the Titanic.
Their Majesties were very interested in Mrs Robinson's narrative of her experiences, and asked her many questions on the subject of the great disaster.
[The King and Queen's Royal review in the Mersey on Friday July 11, 1913, reported in The Times, Saturday, July 12, 1913.]