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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria to support Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary

Rare facsimile of Salisbury Magna Carta to be carried on board

 Robert Key with the Magna Carta copy at Salisbury Cathedral, at the tomb of William Longspee,
half-brother of King John, who was at Runnymede on 15 June 1215.
He was Earl of Salisbury and he was the first person to be buried in Salisbury Cathedral.

27 January 2015 – A rare facsimile of arguably one of the most important documents in English history, the Magna Carta, will be going on display on board Cunard’s flagship liner, Queen Mary and sister ship Queen Victoria between May and September 2015, as the ‘Great Charter’ sealed by King John in 1215 celebrates its 800th anniversary year.

As the shipping line continues to celebrate its 175th anniversary year, Salisbury Cathedral will be lending a rare facsimile of its Magna Carta, one of only four of the original 1215 documents in existence, to Cunard. The facsimile will be displayed in the Grand Lobby of Queen Mary 2 from early May until September 2015, with a 6 night sojourn aboard Queen Victoria in late May.

Cunard and the Magna Carta share some interesting history. During WWII, the Lincoln Magna Carta, one of the four originals, was moved to Washington DC for safe-keeping. In January 1946 it began its journey home, first to New York and then on board Queen Elizabeth for the voyage to Southampton.  The ship’s Captain, Commodore Sir James Bisset, kept the metal box containing the precious document in the safest place he could think of for the duration of the crossing – under his bed!

Robert Key, Chairman of the Salisbury Cathedral 2015 Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Board, and a Member of the National Magna Carta 800th Committee will be escorting the copy of Salisbury’s Magna Carta during crossings aboard Queen Mary 2 on 10-17 May 2015 and 4-11 September 2015, and aboard Queen Victoria’s cruise on 22-28 May 2015.  Robert will hold two talks on each voyage about the legacy of the Magna Carta, and the profound effect it had in shaping the world as we know it today.

The Magna Carta was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects that he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law. The Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king - in this case John - abusing his power and causing suffering to the people of England.

Robert explains to significance of partnership with the Magna Carta and Cunard in their joint anniversary year:

“I, and Salisbury Cathedral, are delighted to be working with Cunard as we celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary by loaning a very rare facsimile of the document. The impact of the Magna Carta was not only felt ashore, but in these lectures we have a golden opportunity to explain and explore those fundamental freedoms that give Cunard ships the right to sail the seven seas – rights that we won 800 years ago and for which people the world over are still prepared to fight and to die.

It is an honour to welcome the Magna Carta, such a significant piece of world history, to both our flagship liner, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Victoria during our 175th anniversary year," said Richard Meadows, president,Cunard, North America. "Hosting someone such as Robert Key, and providing our guests a glimpse into the enduring impact of this historical document on our world today, truly exemplifies what Cunard’s Insights programme is all about."

The Magna Carta copy will join Queen Mary 2 from 10 May and will stay on board until 11 September 2015. It will be transferred to Queen Victoria for a short period, 26-28 May, part of the ship’s Liverpool Salute sailing 22-28 May 2015.  On 25 May 2015, all three Queens will sail together into the Liverpool, the spiritual home of Cunard, for the first time.

For more information about Queen VictoriaQueen Mary 2 or Queen Elizabeth, or to book a voyage, call Cunard at 1-800-628-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.

About Cunard
Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.

World’s Leading Cruise Lines 
Cunard is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations. Visit us at www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.

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