QE2 Story Forum

The QE2's Story (in-service) => The QE2 herself => Topic started by: holynougat on Dec 25, 2009, 10:27 AM

Title: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Dec 25, 2009, 10:27 AM
I am always quite surprised by the number of people who prefix Queen Elizabeth 2 with ‘RMS’. After the diesel engines were fitted she was MV.

I’m not sure why Cunard did not go for RMS when she was launched, I suppose back then there was no nostalgic connection with the prefix?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Dec 25, 2009, 01:03 PM
I'm told that the reason that QE2 was never an RMS (!) is because 'ships had been boring long enough' and they were trying to break many connections with the past.   Documents exist proving that the ship was not an RMS, and recording the decision made, by whom, when and why - all before the ship entered service.

I look forward to correcting this in Wikipedia amongst other places, once I've had time to get the facts straight with documented proof!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 on Dec 25, 2009, 01:36 PM
I've always fixed her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 as many people have said that about her. She must have been made RMS after Queens Mary and Elizabeth retired?

Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Dec 25, 2009, 01:45 PM
Everybody just thought she was, because she was the last British transatlantic liner.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 on Dec 25, 2009, 01:54 PM
Yeah I must admit I thought she was. QE2 was the only Liner Cunard had when she first entered service. Thats to what I know of but I think later on other vessels began coming in but QE2 was the only main ship they had then.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Matt on Dec 25, 2009, 02:19 PM
Wasnt she placed with RMS, simply for the fact that she carried mail for the British Postal Service, 'Royal Mail'?

This is what i thought she did, like Queen Mary 2? Or is she not an RMS aswell?

Matt
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Dec 25, 2009, 08:16 PM
QM2 is RMS, complete with Royal Mail post box.

QE2 was SS (steam ship) when she came into service and was redesignated MV after the new engines were fitted.

Having looked at the certificate of registry, that does not record the prefix of the ship - I could take a more detailed look, I suppose it is written somewhere.

Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Dec 25, 2009, 11:02 PM
I had always thought the same as Beepers; that holding a Royal Mail surface mail contract automatically bestowed "RMS" upon any ship, at least for the crossings on which the mail contract was valid?

She did carry the surface mail when doing an Altantic crossing, did she not?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Chris Frame on Dec 26, 2009, 06:26 AM
I believe that 'technically', after the re-engine QE2 was T.S.M.V - Twin Screw Motor Vessel - although MV was the most common prefix to her name.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Dec 26, 2009, 08:56 AM
You need a Royal Mail contract in order to use the title RMS.

Can't comment on her early years, but she never used to carry mail towards the end of her life - I doubt the post office would have worked around her crusing / crossing schedule.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: highlander0108 on Dec 26, 2009, 10:38 AM
She did carry the mail back to the UK after 9-11.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Stowaway2k on Dec 26, 2009, 11:21 AM
Looking forward to Rob's documentation of the RMS question.
Cunard did indeed make a very strong effort to remove QE2 from Cunard's past, even to the point of implying that the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were "boring", as Rob mentioned, and thus Cunard's entire "Heritage". :o ;)
Ironic that in recent years Cunard did a complete about-face on that very point, by turning to and relying on that boring past to sell QE2 and then QM2,and now QV and QE.
The press, probably by habit, from the very start reported on QE2 as "RMS", and as a result so did the public, up to the present day. A Google News archive search brings up example after example.
 Looking through all of my early QE2 material, I cannot find a single reference to QE2 by Cunard as RMS, and I think the Potter & Frost book doesn't mention the RMS question at all. 
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Dec 26, 2009, 02:02 PM
Would she have carried the surface mail on her Atlantic crossings, though, right up to the last one ( being the fastest vessel around )?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: jdl on Dec 26, 2009, 07:31 PM
To the best of my knowledge the RMS pre-fix only refers to Royal Mail Ship

ie as others above have pointed out this is only supposed to be use by ships that carry mail in any format from the British Royal Mail.  The classification of the ships powerplant be it SS or MV is of no significance to the RMS - the ship can be an RMS regardless of its powerplant, in essence it is an extra prefix to the ships name.

jdl
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Jem on Dec 26, 2009, 07:49 PM
Here is one vessel that we know for sure is RMS St Helena http://www.rms-st-helena.com/abouttheship.html

Is the only other vessel QM2 ?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Twynkle on Dec 26, 2009, 10:56 PM
Yes - there are lots of references to the Royal Mail by sea, 'shipping mail' etc
and because my eyes dimmed well during further exploration, it was difficult to find out exactly when Cunard and other lines were awarded the contract with the Royal Mail itself.

This link comes from wikipedia - so probably needs further authentication
http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Royal-Mail-Ship
(Warning -  Please open carefully!! You may need some sun specs before clicking on this!
http://www.merchantnavyofficers.com/rm1.html)
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Dec 26, 2009, 11:02 PM
Well, that ^^^^^ does list the QE2 and it does also state - as I suspected - that the prefix applied only when actually carrying mail.  So logically that implies that QE2 was indeed entitled to the prefix, whether bestowed formally or not, on those occasions when the mail was on board.

I note the article also mentions the Royal Mail pennant may ( but that doesn't mean it has to! ) be flown when mail is on board.  So the next step in this investigation is, presumably, to see whether any photographs exist of her flying this particular flag...?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Dec 27, 2009, 08:48 AM
To the best of my knowledge the RMS pre-fix only refers to Royal Mail Ship

ie as others above have pointed out this is only supposed to be use by ships that carry mail in any format from the British Royal Mail.  The classification of the ships powerplant be it SS or MV is of no significance to the RMS - the ship can be an RMS regardless of its powerplant, in essence it is an extra prefix to the ships name.

jdl

I'm sure you are right on this - but for example the QM2 is not RMS M/V Queen Mary 2, and neither is the St Helena, I think the key difference is that some ships are permanently designated RMS, while others are technically entitled to the title only while carrying mail...
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Michael Gallagher on Dec 30, 2009, 11:22 AM
QE2 was entitled to be an RMS but was never made so for the reasons so far given. Cunard wanted to position the ship as something 'new' and labelling her as RMS was seen as too much of a throwback. I have seen correspondence involving Sir Basil Smallpiece (Cunard Chairman in 1969) rejecting RMS usage. I have also had the opportunity to discuss this with John Whitworth (Cunard MD in 1969) and he confirmed this.

However, this ruling does not seem to have been adhered to on the ship itself. Examples of cabin stationary (printed on board) clearly state 'RMS Queen Elizabeth 2' and several merchandise items do too. I think that is where the confusion comes from. One hand stated one thing while the other stated the opposite.

QM2 is an RMS but that is very rarely used by Cunard in it's marketing material.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Dec 30, 2009, 11:33 AM
^^^^^

That's interesting and also a bit surprising; I'd have thought the extra prestige from having the RMS would be a very valuable marketing aid for the QM2?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Jem on Dec 30, 2009, 11:18 PM
I'm sure you are right on this - but for example the QM2 is not RMS M/V Queen Mary 2, and neither is the St Helena, I think the key difference is that some ships are permanently designated RMS, while others are technically entitled to the title only while carrying mail...
Slightly confused as it states on the vessels website she is RMS St Helena and I assume the only other remaining one of the two is RMS QM2. Could you explain why nether of these vessel are not RMS? Thanks :)
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Dec 31, 2009, 08:37 AM
Sorry for the confusion, both the QM2 and St Helena are RMS.

I was just addressing an earlier post where someone said that the title was in addition to the more standard MV or SS etc. and was pointing out the QM2 was Simply RMS QM2, not RMS MV QM2.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Jem on Dec 31, 2009, 03:51 PM
Sorry for the confusion, both the QM2 and St Helena are RMS.

I was just addressing an earlier post where someone said that the title was in addition to the more standard MV or SS etc. and was pointing out the QM2 was Simply RMS QM2, not RMS MV QM2.

Thanks for that. All makes sense now. :)
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: cunardqueen on Jul 05, 2010, 10:05 PM
So if QM2 is an RMS What type of mail did or does she carry?  Given her new schedules is it to be assumed its surface itmes as they seem to take forever to reach the other side of the pond  ;)
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Jul 06, 2010, 12:59 AM
Well, two days slower than QE2 she may be, but such is the state of shipping these days that she is still the fastest vessel across the Atlantic!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Cruisemarsh on Jul 06, 2010, 09:11 PM
I am pretty sure she was an RMS. She carried mail on her for Royal Mail and I am pretty sure there are photos of her flying the Royal Mail flag. But I will stand corrected if there is proof that she wasn't an RMS.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Jul 08, 2010, 09:20 AM
No reference was made on QE2's official documents to the title RMS, and the Royal Mail never designated her RMS, so no, she was not an RMS...
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Jul 08, 2010, 09:34 PM
QE2 was entitled to be an RMS but was never made so for the reasons so far given. Cunard wanted to position the ship as something 'new' and labelling her as RMS was seen as too much of a throwback. I have seen correspondence involving Sir Basil Smallpiece (Cunard Chairman in 1969) rejecting RMS usage. I have also had the opportunity to discuss this with John Whitworth (Cunard MD in 1969) and he confirmed this.

However, this ruling does not seem to have been adhered to on the ship itself. Examples of cabin stationary (printed on board) clearly state 'RMS Queen Elizabeth 2' and several merchandise items do too. I think that is where the confusion comes from. One hand stated one thing while the other stated the opposite.

QM2 is an RMS but that is very rarely used by Cunard in it's marketing material.
Title: Twitter feed
Post by: pete cain on Jul 15, 2010, 09:09 PM
Don't know if ' twitter feed' on the site actually feeds into the forum , (I've looked but cannot find links,) said twitter mentions that QE2 was not an RMS, I always believed that she was ,& am sure did most people, however  just to muddy the waters,   P116 of 'TRIBUTE TO A QUEEN', John Maxtone Graham  ''in late April of 1987, the diesel-electric QE2 re-entered service. She is no longer royal mail ship Queen Elizabeth 2  for the company has deceided to relinquish all descriptive, initialled prefixes''. somebody is wrong, I've got a quote.
 Trouble is whilst looking for this info (which I knew I'd read somewhere) , I came across this quote,' THE QE2 A PICTURE HISTORY', William H. Miller Jr.  P64. '' And so,the last chapter of this beloved, highly successful superliner has begun-and, unlikesome other floating hotel projects, her future seems assured with Dubai's  immense wealth.'' I trully trully hope so , thanks to the people who are looking after her (for us all).
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Jul 15, 2010, 11:04 PM
Hello Pete,

Its an interesting topic - and we're tacking it here - https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,1392.0.html  !!

To summarise - she was NOT an RMS, ever, but was mistakently thought to be, by many people.

Title: Re: Twitter feed
Post by: Chris Frame on Jul 16, 2010, 02:04 AM
'' And so,the last chapter of this beloved, highly successful super liner has begun-and, unlike some other floating hotel projects, her future seems assured with Dubai's  immense wealth.''

No one realised just how delicate the Dubai financial situation was back in 2007, how things have changed!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Scott on Jul 19, 2010, 05:38 AM
This was super informative! I found this photo that I took in the Captains cabin... probably a gift to the ship?
(http://www.rmsqueenelizabeth2.com/image/IMG_0714.jpg)
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Scott on Jul 19, 2010, 06:10 AM
Actually as I look at it closer, the wood in the plaques match the panelling. and the one on the left has some very old plates on it... probably not a gift.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Twynkle on Jul 19, 2010, 07:35 AM
Hi Scott
That is a wonderful image - Thank you.

Although not a designated Royal Mail Steamship,
in just about every way she well deserves a special Royal pre-fix!
Rosie
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: pete cain on Jul 19, 2010, 08:57 PM
Am determined to get to the bottom of this topic(because I truly believe QE2 deserves the title RMS), & as such it might take some time to find out & report as others have said, however it's funny how one gets diverted  ,& whilst browsing. ' Cunard ' (I know it's only a trading name nowadays) don't refer to QM2 as Rms in their publicity literature, even now, but whilst looking for onfo I came across this'official' publication from Cunard, titled FAREWELL CELEBRATION a tribute to the world's most famous ship.P4   ...June 1970 when she set a westbound record of just 3days,20 hours and 42 minuites by averaging 30.36 knots. That's pretty damn good& will probably never be bettered, it's probably been reported elsewhere in the forum, but I think it's worth repeating,I look through all the glossy mags & brochoures posted to me from CUNARD , before QE2 left servi ce & find myself thinking, are these people being cynical (at that time,spinning all the celebratory achievements of QE2,) & do they really really deep down realise now that they've lost an icon all  for 30 pieces of silver??????????????? . Been a while since I spit me dummy out......
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Jul 19, 2010, 09:10 PM
Its not that QE2 wasn't good enough to be an RMS, its simply that they (Cunard) didn't WANT her to be an RMS.  They wanted her to be new, exciting, different and modern and wanted to shake off all that old stuff that went before!  The exact opposite of QM2, in fact, which was designed to be retro and dripping in Titanic influences (because of the successful movie) including the RMS!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Chris Frame on Jul 20, 2010, 01:29 PM
Cunard won the mail contract back in 1839 and then he created the fastest most reliable mail transportation service using steam powered paddle wheels. RMS meant something in those days, right up until the days of the Queens.

By the time QE2 came along in 1969 mail could travel much faster by air - so what significance would RMS have at all to QE2? The only reason QM2 is RMS is because of nostalgic marketing... Cunard aren't making money carrying mail any more...
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Jul 20, 2010, 01:42 PM
The RM do, however, still offer a surface mail service and it follows that the fastest vessel on a regular route will be the prime choice for carrying the resulting mailbags.

If the RM were not able to pay the rate required by the owners / operators of the vessels in question, which should at least cover the coss of carrying the mail plus a bit on top, then surface mail would cease to exist as an offering.

As there are only a few crossings each year now, I am guessing that while the QM2 will carry the mail when she is doing a TA, the rest of the time it'll be going on freighters.

Which, incidentally, suggests to me that posting something surface mail to the USA a few days before a QM2 westbound TA departure will probably mean it gets there slightly faster than if it was posted a few days later.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Chris Frame on Jul 20, 2010, 02:27 PM
I don't think QM2 routinely carrys mail.
She has to carry a tribute bag at a certain interval to retain her RMS status but I don't think it's regular. Perhaps Michael can clarify?

Of course the most valuable parcel QM2 carried was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - the first signed copy in a steamer trunk no less! I wonder what the postage charge is on that ;)
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Twynkle on Jul 20, 2010, 03:04 PM
A gentleman in The Post Office Museum Heritage Department in Clerkenwell, London pointed me 'downstairs' towards the thousands of archives.
It would have been possible to do a search that might have taken 600 days, at least!
Having chosen the alternative route, this is the result.

After opening the link, in the search window, enter: Royal Mail Liners
and  click on catalogue
and take a look at the at the last post -  finding POST 122/389

http://catalogue.postalheritage.org.uk/dserve/dserve.exe?srch_AnyText=Royal+Mail+Liners&dsqWords=And&srch_AltRefNo=&dsqCmd=SearchBuild.tcl&dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqServer=localhost&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&btnSearch=search+the+catalogue


Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: pete cain on Jul 20, 2010, 09:05 PM
Rosie , I'm sorry , but that entry only goes to 1967, we all know QE2  came after this date, as ever;   you are ahed of the game looking into Royal Mail . com (I was going to do that next week or whenever!!) However it's probably completely out of topic here, but I was looking up the R M S thing & came across this c/o' QE2 ' a ship for all seasons' ,David R Hutchings, p23, '' In the Mary and the Elizabeth the kitchens, being so low in those ships, had a garbage shute which opened to the sea through the bottom of the ship and down which the rubbish could be jettisoned.There was no such shute on the QE2 so garbage would have to be bagged and manually thrown overboard. That is until a special door was cut into the side of the ship, disguised behind the large' U 'of the red CUNARD logo painted onthe superstructure at the fore end of the Quarter Deck''. Funny what you find whilst looking for something else
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Twynkle on Jul 20, 2010, 10:04 PM
Rosie , I'm sorry , but that entry only goes to 1967, we all know QE2  came after this date, as ever;....

Exactly, Pete! - It only went as far as 1967 because mightn't that have been the year the contract with Cunard wasn't renewed or extended?!

As for the old rubbish:
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,2121.0.html




Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Kindlychap on Feb 07, 2011, 10:58 PM
I recall seeing a communication to the Palace in the final years which clearly referred to the ship as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2.

Clearly this could have been an error, but there is no doubt that the message had RMS in front of the name.

The Master was, I think, David Perkins.

Matthew
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: cunardqueen on May 02, 2011, 02:47 PM
What about SS QE2... ;)

Note:  image not available
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: cunardqueen on Mar 17, 2012, 08:38 PM
As QE2 was steaming towards the Falklands she was an RMS.... either that or the shipboard printers got it all wrong...

Note: image not available
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Mar 17, 2012, 09:31 PM
As QE2 was steaming towards the Falklands she was an RMS.... either that or the shipboard printers got it all wrong...

The people on board frequently got that wrong. I'm certain she was never an RMS, I even saw the relevant registry papers in Dubai!  However it may well be the case that she was commonly referred to as this, but it doesn't mean they were right!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 17, 2012, 11:39 PM
As QE2 was steaming towards the Falklands she was an RMS.... either that or the shipboard printers got it all wrong...

Just as a matter of interest - wouldn't QE2 have had RMS painted on her bow, on her stern, on the wind scoop, and even more importantly engraved on her builders plate, had Cunard wanted her to be referred to as a Royal Mail ship?!
Holy Nougat confirms above that the prefix RMS wasn't used on her logs and other legal documentation.
Flagship confirms above that Cunard didn't wish her to be classed as an RMS.
Perhaps it wasn't corrected formally, because for some people (possibly the printers et al) the prefix might have been a convenient way of maintaining a particular sort of status?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Jul 11, 2012, 03:34 PM
Quote from Flagship, Post 18

Quote
QE2 was entitled to be an RMS but was never made so for the reasons so far given........

.....However, this ruling does not seem to have been adhered to on the ship itself. Examples of cabin stationary (printed on board) clearly state 'RMS Queen Elizabeth 2' and several merchandise items do too. I think that is where the confusion comes from.

I was thinking about Flagship's quote in post number 18 regarding cabin stationery printed onboard using RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 when I recently came across these two items. 

The first is a Cunard Landing arrangements leaflets for 8 June 1974 where you can see the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is used. 

The second item dated 2 June 1974 is a letter from John Sawyer, Hotel Manager, arrangements for New York.  Again you can see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 at the top of the letter.

Both of these items verify what Flagship has posted. 
Title: QE2 was never a Royal Mail Ship (RMS)
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Apr 14, 2013, 08:39 PM
I thought you might all be interested in the following that I've put together after speaking directly to Michael Gallagher and Ian McNaught.  I'm going to use it to attempt, again, to correct one of the many inaccuracies on the QE2's messy Wikipedia page.

https://www.theqe2story.com/aboutQE2/NotRMSQE2.html
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rod on Apr 15, 2013, 01:19 AM
Well I guess that my Falkland Island pewter beet tankard is ...right out of ths wall!!


It says LPLL!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Stowaway2k on Apr 15, 2013, 02:08 AM
Quote
QE2's messy Wikipedia page

which seems to be one person's jealously guarded private domain.

Who is this person?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Apr 15, 2013, 08:40 AM
I have so far managed to get the title of the page changed to remove RMS and also have now edited the text.  It's been an 'interesting' process. If I want to remove the letters RMS, I have to prove she wasn't one, citing a source. However the person who originally wrote it was incorrect and didn't have to cite a source.

References in books are treated as gospel by Wikipedia even though, as Ian mcnaught says, they're often incorrect...

We have a whole separate Wikipedia topic. Sorry for taking this off topic.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: cunardqueen on Apr 15, 2013, 05:31 PM
and from some promotional adverts...
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: holynougat on Apr 21, 2013, 09:16 PM
I tried editing the wikipedia article to remove RMS a few years ago but my edits were removed within 48 hours...
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Apr 21, 2013, 09:30 PM
I tried editing the wikipedia article to remove RMS a few years ago but my edits were removed within 48 hours...

This has taken me many months to achieve, but so far my edits have remained in place.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 16, 2018, 12:41 AM
Here is the QE2 letterbox, which at the time I thought was there because I mistakenly thought she was an RMS :

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3296/3118439287_97100c2557_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/5KyPmB)
Postbox (https://flic.kr/p/5KyPmB) by Isabelle Prondzynski (https://www.flickr.com/photos/prondis_in_kenya/), on Flickr

I wondered about the initial though : GR VI? Was this an old letterbox already when it was installed?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Chris Hodges on Oct 16, 2018, 06:19 AM
King George 6th 1936-1952
Maybe this letter box was originally on the Queen Elizabeth and transfered to QE2 ??
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 16, 2018, 04:17 PM
King George 6th 1936-1952
Maybe this letter box was originally on the Queen Elizabeth and transfered to QE2 ??

And when was it last used -- up to when was it functioning as a letterbox?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Thomas Hypher on Oct 16, 2018, 04:22 PM
The letterbox is still in the same place onboard in Dubai, outside where the Library and Bookshop used to be on Quarter Deck. One wonders if it will be used...I think I've heard plans it might be but time will tell.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Michael Gallagher on Oct 16, 2018, 04:42 PM
Not sure the box was from either of the Queens as here is what a post box looked like on Queen Elizabeth. Granted each class would have had a box and I think they would have all been in this style and I'm sure Queen Mary would have been similar...
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Boris on Oct 20, 2018, 07:35 AM
What I know of the intricacies of awarding Mail contracts to liner companies would fit on the back of a postage stamp. (Remember postage stamps?). And, to be honest, I have little intention of investing time in correcting my ignorance. Life's too short.

But my take on it is that the reason QE2 was never awarded a contract to carry the mail was that she was ineligible: only on a fixed run for part of the year. Why on earth would the GPO consider awarding her a mail contract? OK, she was on a bus run Southampton~New York, but then for 6 months she tootled off to the Caribbean or other warmer climes. Basically, I suggest the first test is you need to be a liner to gain the Royal Mail contract. Hence, of course, RMS Queen Elizabeth and RMS Queen Mary.

And you don't have to be a passenger liner: when I worked with Union Castle all their passenger liners, and a few of their cargo liners, were RMS. (But not the SS Reina del Mar, which spent its year cruising).

I would also suggest you would have to be UK flagged. (Neither of the two Safmarine-owned passenger liners managed and crewed by Union Castle were RMS - yet they undertook exactly the same run as their sister ships).

Most likely your liner run would also have to touch on UK on a frequent basis. (The public don't want to wait forever for their mail to be delivered, even if it is sea mail. After the mail bags were loaded at Cape Town the run to Southampton was about 13 days at the most, from memory).

So whether the Cunard management of the time wanted to distance themselves from past Cunard liners, consciously decided to start a fresh leaf, or whatever, I think is immaterial. SS QE2 would never have been awarded a Royal Mail contract by the GPO even if Cunard had pleaded for it.

Happy to be educated if my views are incorrect.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Boris on Oct 20, 2018, 08:15 AM
Well I guess that my Falkland Island pewter beet tankard is ...right out of ths wall!! It says LPLL!
LPLL? Lower Perkiomen Little League?
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: cunardqueen on Oct 20, 2018, 08:35 PM
  What about SS QE2... ;) Taken onboard on the Farewell Eastbound crossing.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: skilly56 on Oct 21, 2018, 05:32 AM
SS = 'Senior Ship' in this case!
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Philippe Spanner on Oct 29, 2018, 05:53 PM
I'm sure most people are aware that Cunard started the company after winning the mail contract. The pony express was started in Canada (not by Charlton Heston film account of 1860's). In 1849 Cunard mail and news would then travel by pony express.
http://www.newscotland1398.net/ponyexpress/ponyexdx.html
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 29, 2018, 06:21 PM
Thanks for posting the link, Philippe.  It was really interesting to read the snippets of information and I look forward to reading more.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Paul Joyce on Oct 30, 2018, 12:05 AM
I was surprised to read that Queen Elizabeth 2 was not RMS because I have a Royal Mail Stamp referring
to her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which would suggest that at some stage she was RMS.
Also a lot of the stationary printed on board in the seventies and early eighties also referred to her as RMS.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 30, 2018, 05:19 PM
I was surprised to read that Queen Elizabeth 2 was not RMS because I have a Royal Mail Stamp referring
to her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which would suggest that at some stage she was RMS.
Also a lot of the stationary printed on board in the seventies and early eighties also referred to her as RMS.

The mystery deepens! If even the Royal Mail thought she was an RMS... what better source could there be?

Thank you, Paul, for the picture of the stamp :) .

We have a topic about QE2 postage stamps, here (please click) (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=1072.0).

It would be brilliant if you could tell us the story of this stamp (it looks like a very special cover too!).
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Oct 30, 2018, 10:35 PM
Paquebot = "Packet boat" so that was actually posted on board QE2 herself.

The stamp was issued as part of a series featuring British ships; first day of issue was 15th January 1969 and the ships featured were as follows:

QE2 on the 5d stamp, Stanley Gibbons catalogue number 778.

Elizabethan Galleon on a 9d stamp, SG number 779.

East Indiaman on another 9d, SG780.

Cutty Sark, also on a 9d, SG781.

SS Great Britain on a 1 shilling version, SG782.

RMS Mauretania on another 1 shilling version, SG783.


Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: cunardqueen on Oct 31, 2018, 09:16 PM
Quote
  Paquebot = "Packet boat" so that was actually posted on board QE2 herself. 

Many moons ago when l was a Postman Higher Grade (PHG) in Orkney the ships agent would drop a mail bag past the sorting office , It contained all the mail from onboard visiting cruise ships , usually postcards, and every item had the "Paquebot" stamped by rubber stamp on every item. This included foreign stamped mail and allowed it to be carried through the Royal Mail system.
QE2 had her own "QE2 Posted onboard" rubber stamp. It was for me a great stamp to use, just have the postcard addressed and stamp the rubber stamp , buy your stamps from the Pursers office and it saved writing on your postcards.
One year l had my Christmas cards all written out and stamped and had them all stamped with the QE2 posted on board stamp. 
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 31, 2018, 09:51 PM
I was surprised to read that Queen Elizabeth 2 was not RMS because I have a Royal Mail Stamp referring
to her as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which would suggest that at some stage she was RMS.
Also a lot of the stationary printed on board in the seventies and early eighties also referred to her as RMS.

The QE2 Story shop (https://www.theqe2story.com/QE2Shop.php) is selling this stamp framed from £7.50 (incl pp to UK).   Nice little item. 
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Nov 12, 2018, 07:43 PM
I just want to follow up on some of the above posts.

There is no doubt at all, that QE2 was never an RMS.  She was often incorrectly referred to as an RMS, including by people who should have known better (and possibly did know better) but that never made her one.

Cunard's own historian reviewed the official documents, and the MD at the time made it quite clear, she was not an RMS.  Ian McNaught backed this up when I asked him (and I have that in writing), and I triple-checked it by referring to the ship's documents in Dubai myself while standing on the bridge with the owners.

Sorry to bang on about it, or "crush" people's illusion, but facts are important, especially nowadays...

The reason I believe people referred to her as an RMS (maybe even when they knew she wasn't) was to stress that she was a transatlantic liner and not just another cruise ship.  QE2's history, pedigree and success is not determined by 3 letters.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Rod on Nov 12, 2018, 10:44 PM
To add to the mystery/puzzle/conundrum.
There was a room in the corner of the booze hold on 8 deck that was built as a "specie" room, that was designed to carry valuable mail, registered mail etc.
 Chief barkeeper used it to store his very old brandies. But, he and the other bartenders, did always refer to it as the "Specie Room".

But all the time I was on there the airmail writing paper supplied to guests in their cabins and available in the libraries was white paper and the heading was the ship and under it was RMS Queen Elizabeth @?
That paper was supplied by Cunard.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Nov 12, 2018, 10:47 PM
There is a quote from Michael on this very thread ( https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=15309;topic=1392.0;last_msg=101244 ) which says that QE2 was not an RMS although she was entitled to be.

She did carry mail, they just never had her formally made an RMS.

So the existence of the secure mail compartment should not be a surprise.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Thomas Hypher on Nov 12, 2018, 11:28 PM
I just want to follow up on some of the above posts.

There is no doubt at all, that QE2 was never an RMS.  She was often incorrectly referred to as an RMS, including by people who should have known better (and possibly did know better) but that never made her one.

Cunard's own historian reviewed the official documents, and the MD at the time made it quite clear, she was not an RMS.  Ian McNaught backed this up when I asked him (and I have that in writing), and I triple-checked it by referring to the ship's documents in Dubai myself while standing on the bridge with the owners.

Sorry to bang on about it, or "crush" people's illusion, but facts are important, especially nowadays...

The reason I believe people referred to her as an RMS (maybe even when they knew she wasn't) was to stress that she was a transatlantic liner and not just another cruise ship.  QE2's history, pedigree and success is not determined by 3 letters.


Agreed, she was so much more than a designation however prestigious the designation and the facts shouldn't be lost or drowned out (like they seemed to be on Wikipedia before the facts were taken onboard, pardon the pun) particularly with some of the myths being told by some people in Dubai or in the mainstream media (surprise, surprise ::)) due to ignorance (I think) and the truth being equally if not more fascinating/interesting than the myths being told.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: Paul Joyce on Nov 13, 2018, 08:24 AM
This is the very nice writing paper that was given out on board that Rod referred to.
I really like the drawing they used of her.
Title: Re: Not RMS!
Post by: June Ingram on Nov 14, 2018, 03:55 PM
Lovely drawing of QE2 !   :)