Queen Mary began her maiden voyage on 27 May 1936.
As she departed for Cherbourg and then across the Atlantic to New York, crowds watched, a band played, and an armada of small vessels escorted her out of Southampton harbor and down the Solent. Along with some 2,100 passengers, Queen Mary was carrying 50,000 pounds of fresh meat, 50,000 eggs, 14,500 bottles of wine, and 25,000 packets of cigarettes.
Over the next three decades, Queen Mary would play hostess to royalty, politicians, soldiers, movie stars, musicians, scientists, and a lot of ordinary people (including the author’s parents and sister, who were beginning a new life in America).
After completing her service life in 1967, Queen Mary joined many other aging glamour queens in Southern California. She is still a Golden Age beauty and is always glad to see visitors.
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