In the lap of luxury: Passengers being served on board a Cunard ship with the deck steward in summer whites

One of their ships came to the rescue when the Titanic was sinking, and Charles Dickens described one of their cabins as a ‘profoundly preposterous box’.

Cunard Line celebrates 175 years of sailing the seas this year and has opened its archives to reveal the magical glamour of life on board over the decades.

Since being launched by Samuel Cunard in 1840, the fleet has welcomed the most illustrious members of society on board, and has a guest book which includes everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Liz Taylor to Beyonce.

In the lap of luxury: Passengers being served on board a Cunard ship with the deck steward in summer whites

Over the years Cunard has enjoyed many royal visits

Cunard has had many royal visits, and their prized ships are named after monarchs: Mary of Teck, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth

Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor was a frequent guest on Cunard’s transatlantic and Mediterranean cruises

For the first time in 1911, guests could exercise on their cruises; The Franconia was the first ship to have a sundeck and gymnasium

The maiden voyage of a Cunard’s liner, Britannia, took place in 1840 across the Atlantic.

A pioneer in facilities and fleet, celebrities and animals alike were treated to experience the ocean crossing.

Cunard’s Arabia had a series of equine guests when transported all horses for the Crimean War in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1853.

Even American author Mark Twain was among the celebrities who enjoyed voyaging in the 1870s.

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