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Cunard Queen Mary

Letter by Sir Thomas Bell to Sir Percy Bates about “534”

Item Number: 55883 Sold

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Private and confidential letter dated 13 April 1934 to Sir Percy Bates, Chairman of Cunard White Star, detailing a visit by the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII) to Hull 534 or, as we know her, the future Queen Mary.  Beautifully written in immediately readable copper-plate cursive, the letter covers all aspects of the Prince’s visit to the ship, including his route around the ship, things he was shown, areas he took a great interest in (particularly the riveting on A Deck and the men doing the work), etc.  The show stopper is the last half of the letter where Bell asked the Prince if he thought the King and Queen would like to visit the ship.  The Prince said “no” and gave great details as to why — he said the Queen would be bored — but he did suggest that the Queen might launch the ship and that he would ask her as soon as he got home!  This the Prince duly did, and the rest fell into place.  Needless to say, this letter is extremely historic as it also kicked off Cunard White Star’s desire to name the ship after the Queen.  There is so much in this letter that it would make a great addition to any Queen Mary collection!

I have the entire Cunard file regarding her launch (as well as that of the Queen Elizabeth).  If you are interested in purchasing either file in its entirety, please contact me.  Serious inquiries only, please!