Cunard is pleased to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Line’s Queen Victoria on Tuesday December 13, to mark the fifth birthday of the ship, which The Duchess named in December 2007.
This will be the third occasion Her Royal Highness will have visited the ship. She will be escorted aboard by Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line, and Captain Peter Philpott, master of Queen Victoria. The ship’s crew will line the three tiers of the Grand Lobby when The Duchess arrives, while embarking passengers will line the tiers for her departure.
While on board, The Duchess will witness the unveiling of a specially-commissioned portrait of her by noted Royal artist Richard Stone and will also meet 12 Prince’s Trust apprentices who will have participated in the Trust’s “Get into” work experience programme. The Prince’s Trust was founded in 1976 by The Prince of Wales with the mission to change young lives by developing key workplace skills for disadvantaged youth in the United Kingdom.
“We were honoured that Her Royal Highness named this fine ship,” said Shanks, “and are delighted that she continues to display such an interest both in the ship and its crew as Queen Victoria celebrates its fifth birthday. The Duchess will always be warmly welcomed on board.”
At a reception in support of the Prince’s Trust, The Duchess will present certificates to the 12 apprentices, who will have completed a period of customer service work at the offices of Cunard and its parent company in Southampton, England.
After a commemorative lunch on board, Her Royal Highness will cut a special cake to mark the ship’s fifth birthday before seeing the new portrait being unveiled and signing the ship’s Visitor’s Book for the third time.
In line with the company’s tradition of commissioning artworks for display on board each ship named by a member of the Royal Family, Cunard has commissioned an official portrait of The Duchess for Queen Victoria.
The portrait was painted by Richard Stone, an acclaimed artist who, over three decades, has painted most members of the Royal Family.
“It is a great privilege to be able to step, for a brief time, into the lives of others,” said Stone. “Everyone has the most remarkable story to tell. It’s an honour to be in a situation where the sitter trusts me enough to allow me, through their portrait, to tell some of that story.”
This new official portrait will be unveiled by Queen Victoria‘s “Madrina” or shipyard sponsor, Maureen Ryan, who officiated at the ship’s float-out near Venice in January 2007.
“Richard’s portrait of The Duchess of Cornwall is stunning and will be admired by guests on Queen Victoria for many years to come,” commented Peter Shanks. “Cunard is delighted to have the painting on board.”
Cunard has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the Prince’s Trust since 2007 and as a Gold Patron, has to date raised nearly $1.3 million for its work to turn around young lives in the U.K. Furthering commitment to the Trust, Cunard and its parent company, Carnival UK, will be taking an active part in the Trust’s “Get into … Customer Service” work experience project.
The programme is designed to give 12 young people aged 16-23 a local opportunity in a placement that offers a mixture of practical training and experience to help them find employment within a customer service environment.
The programme will take place December 3 thru 14, 2012, and the 12 apprentices will attend the event on board Queen Victoria on 13 December as a special highlight, having the opportunity to meet Her Royal Highness, as well as touring the ship.
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