The Guardian's Mak Tran reports about yesterday's events:

It was hardly the most regal moment in the QE2's glittering career when the luxury ocean liner ran into a sandbank off Southampton yesterday, as it headed for its home port before a final voyage which will see metamorphosise into a floating hotel in Dubai.

Fortunately the embarrassment was fleeting, and the ship docked just 25 minutes late at the port, where the Duke of Edinburgh led the farewell ceremonies.

A Cunard spokesman said the ship had been pulled off the sandbank quite easily. "No one on board has been injured. A lot of people will have been in bed when it happened and not have noticed."

The QE2's final departure from British shores was accompanied by solemnity and fireworks. To mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the first world war, a Tiger Moth plane dropped 1m poppies on the 70,000-tonne liner, which was a hospital ship during the 1982 Falklands war.

After the two-minute silence, Prince Philip met long-serving staff as well as the former captains of HMS Ardent, Antelope and Coventry, ships lost in the Falklands campaign. He also stood on the aft decks of the QE2 to watch a Harrier jet fly-past.

Last night a flotilla accompanied the ship as it left Southampton for its final voyage. Passengers snapped up tickets, with the highest-priced berths going for more than £28,000.

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