Queen Elizabeth 2 – how are the mighty fallen.

Posted: February 19, 2016 in Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , ,

Rotting in obscurity, workers spit-roasting pigs on its deck – the sad state of the iconic QE2.

The QE2 visiting Sydney in happier times.

The QE2 visiting Sydney in happier times.


The ship known worldwide as the “QE2” was once a magnificent vessel that royalty, the well-heeled and celebrities were proud to board. But sadly times have changed, and now even ordinary people do not have any use for it. The ship once had lively bars and luxurious dining rooms on the lower decks. They now sit empty and dirty, not being used by even the crew.

A photographer has recently taken photos of the “before” and “after” of the QE2. When the ship was in its prime, it hosted the Queen herself, George W. Bush, Nelson Mandela, Ginger Rogers, Debbie Reynolds and many, many more. Now, the ship has been docked for nearly six years in Dubai, awaiting its renovation. It was promised that it would be able to return to sea in 2013, making its first sailing to China. That was three years ago and it still sits in the water, rotting away and perhaps never to see the promised renovations.

The beautiful ship was to be converted into a 400-suite floating hotel for nearly 60 million pounds. The plans for this are waiting to be announced as well, but if the plans for the hotel go through, then workers will renovate the ballroom, seven restaurants, ten lounges, and even a cinema.

But it appears the Queen Elizabeth II sits un-loved in a Dubai dockyard after the plans to transform it into a hotel have stalled.  And the ship now has to prove that it is still able to sail without any issues. The longer it sits in the water untouched, the more likely it will never be able to sail. Several former crew members and campaigners are angered to see this large ship sitting idle in the water, wanting to to see it return to its former splendour and the condition it once was in.



Louis de Sousa, who worked on the ship for nine years during the 1990s, saying that it’s like the owners of the ship and the dock owners don’t even care. Unlike other large ships, this one can definitely be renovated and used for many years to come. De Sousa said that it probably would have been better if the ship had gone to a scrapyard at this point. That way, he and the other workers would have had better memories of the ship. With it sitting in the dock, the workers get to see nature slowly taking its toll on the large ship, decaying it slowly day by day.

When de Sousa was shown the photo of men slow-roasting a pig on the ship, he said it was rather disrespectful of them to take advantage of it.

Rob Lightbody, who runs a QE2 website, said that he’s increasingly anxious about what will happen to the ship saying that the owners keep making all of those promises, yet the ship sits in the dock, day in and day out, under the baking Middle East sun. He said the worst part of it is that these empty promises get everyone’s hopes up, and then all of a sudden the plans fall silent, leaving everyone in the dark thinking, “When will it happen?”

The Queen during her farewell visit to the ship on 2 June 2008.

The Queen during her farewell visit to the ship on 2 June 2008.

He says the saddest thing of all is that the QE2 is the last of the ship’s type. It was British-built and designed by a British crew. The main issue seems to be that the ship is docked in the wrong place. It should be docked in Britain, not Dubai. He believes that the people in Dubai do not even care that the ship is there, nor do they know just how special that ship really is.

One of the photographers who worked on the ship, Alan Snelson, said that someone should just come forward and let everyone know that there are no plans in store to have the ship renovated. That way, campaigners and donors can work hard at saving the ship while it’s still in fairly good condition. If the ship has to wait any longer, the damage will soon be irreversible and it will then have to be scrapped for sure.

The ship carried nearly 2.5 million people and had completed nearly 700 Atlantic crossings since its launch at John Brown shipyard in Clydebank in 1967.

The QE2’s original home port was Southampton; it had been sailing from there for nearly 40 years when it was sold to Dubai in 2008.

What do YOU think? That's what matters. Please comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s