And so we end with the dowager who has set herself up with a court aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth.
It's likely that we're looking at are several widows who spent the money their husbands had acquired during their marriages on this grand adventure. Of course, it's possible they came from money to begin with. Perhaps one of them had worked hard for years to save up for a trip like this and was quite excited to be sitting with such well off folks. They sure didn't dress like this in South Dakota.
RMS Queen Elizabeth was an ocean liner operated by the Cunard Line. With her sister ship Queen Mary she provided luxury liner service between Southampton, the United Kingdom, and New York City, the United States, via Cherbourg, France. She was also contracted for over 20 years to carry the Royal Mail as the second half of the two ships' weekly express service.
RMS Queen Elizabeth at Cherbourg, France in 1966.
While being constructed in the mid-1930s by John Brown and Company at Clydebank, Scotland, she was known as Hull 552 but when launched, on 27 September 1938, she was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth, who was then Queen Consort to King George VI and in 1952 became the Queen Mother. With a design that improved upon that of Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth was a slightly larger ship, the largest passenger liner ever built at that time and for 56 years thereafter. She also has the distinction of being the largest-ever riveted ship by gross tonnage. She first entered service in February 1940 as a troopship in World War II, and it was not until October 1946 that she served in her intended role as an ocean liner.
With the decline in the popularity of the transatlantic route, both ships were replaced by the smaller, more economical Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969. Queen Mary was retired from service on 9 December 1967, and was sold to the city of Long Beach, California, US. Queen Elizabeth was sold to a succession of buyers, most of whom had adventurous and unsuccessful plans for her. Finally she was sold to a Hong Kong businessman, Tung Chao Yung, who intended to convert her into a floating university cruise ship. In 1972, while undergoing refurbishment in Hong Kong harbour, she caught fire under mysterious circumstances and was capsized by the water used to fight the fire. In 1973, her wreck was deemed an obstruction, and she was partially scrapped where she lay. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)