Author Topic: The Royal Wedding of Charles & Diana July 1981, a QE2 anecdote.  (Read 1985 times)

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Offline Willum

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At the moment of the Wedding, QE2 was going to be 300m west of Ireland in-bound to Soton. Satellite TV was big in the USA at the time, and QE2 had a single small Satellite telephone terminal.

A few weeks earlier I casually asked someone from the New York office whether any arrangements had been made for the Wedding, and was told 'Oh yes, the Ship has Satellite Equipment and will be watching the event Live, we are doing a promotion See the Royal Wedding Live on QE2'. - Oh no it won't!.

At the next visit to NY, I was advised that at 300m W of Ireland, we could pick up Sat TV Signals and we were to receive an 8m Diameter TV Dish on next visit that had to stabilised to 1 degree of accuracy. My reply was - 'What if its windy, or we change course? and by the way, there is no TV Distribution.'  So that idea had to be stamped on.

During my next leave I contacted BBC Enterprises and we arranged for them to laser-cut a 35mm film of the highlights of the wedding they they could make ready that day, then motorcycle courier it to Castle-Air near Liskeard in Cornwall and have it flown out to the ship first light the following day where the film would be laced up in the Theatre Projector and shown over and over as we came up the Channel.  This duly happened.

- Beware the Bright Ideas Department!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 08:45 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Wedding Charles/Diana July 81, a QE2 anecdote.
« Reply #1 on: Feb 15, 2014, 11:39 AM »
Fantastic story Willum and how true about the "bright ideas department" 

It is easy to forget that technology has come a long way in 33 years.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: Wedding Charles/Diana July 81, a QE2 anecdote.
« Reply #2 on: Feb 16, 2014, 07:36 PM »
I remember watching the preparations for the helicopter drop on the aft deck. Fire hoses, etc in case it crashed! There are pictures of this elsewhere on the forum. From what I remember it was quite tricky for the pilot to manoeuvre into position matching the ship's speed especially as he flew through the smoke from the funnel at one point!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Wedding Charles/Diana July 81, a QE2 anecdote.
« Reply #3 on: Feb 17, 2014, 06:56 PM »
It is very good to know how this came about !
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Rob Lightbody

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This is great information, and as a new royal wedding is imminent it was great to read it.  I don't suppose there are any photos from on board in anyone's collection....?
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.