A very royal affair on the high seas

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The Independent Travel

Cunard has made its latest liner Queen Elizabeth a doubly-royal affair by commissioning the Queen's nephew to provide some of the artwork.

British artist David Linley, the son of the late Princess Margaret (the Queen's sister) and famous photographer Lord Snowdon, will provide a wood art installation centerpiece for the Queen Elizabeth, Cunard announced May 20.

The artwork, which will measure 18 and a half feet (5.6 meters), will be installed in the Grand Lobby of the luxurious liner on the staircase that greets embarking guests.

Using different types of wood from around the world, Linley's marquetry panel will depict the bow of the original 1930s Queen Elizabeth liner from sea level.

Madrona, Indian ebony, American walnut, grey ripple sycamore, burr ash, bird's eye maple, satin walnut, ash, burr walnut and Macassar ebony will be used to create the image.

"This is the first sea-going work we have done on this scale - it is certainly the largest screen we have ever made - but it was a commission I was delighted to accept," said Linley.

"I recall my father saying the interior design on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 made one proud to be British, so I am hoping our achievement on the new Queen Elizabeth will make him - and others - equally proud."

The 92,000 ton Queen Elizabeth will be the second largest Cunard ship ever built when she goes into service in October 2010.

She will still be overshadowed, however, by the November 2010 launch of the 225,000 ton Allure of the Seas, the sister ship of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas (currently the world's largest cruise liner).