It was a farewell steeped in glumly appropriate pathos. Grounded on a sandbank and limping from Southampton’s frenetic lanes, the QEII eventually left British waters on Wednesday, bound for the soupy warmth of the Gulf.
A shallow bath awaits the majesterial vessel, her bow and stern will be plundered, ripped apart and replaced with uber kitsch, she’ll be souped-up to Sheikhy viability and her plumbing system shall be better than anything ever produced in the British Isles. It’s a grandiose nod towards history and Arab-Anglo relations, but feels more like something rather more momentous.
The QEII’s resting place in Dubai, is, surely, a fitting metaphor of the current state of geo-financial global change. If the QEII stood for Empire (at the very most) or Great Britian (at the least), then imperial clout has now well and truly passed into the hands of the world’s wealthiest men, acquired through liquid gold. How better to symbolise the financial power shift of the past century?