THE skies above Southampton will by lit up by a spectacular fireworks display tonight as the city celebrates the arrival of three “royal” vessels.

All three vessels of the Cunard fleet, Queen Mary 2 (QM2), Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria, sailed alongside each other in Southampton waterfront this morning.

There was an early morning wake-up call for Southampton as the deep booming sound of all three Cunard “Queens” arrived in port together at dawn.

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Royalty also marked the occasion with a visit to the city.

The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in the city shortly after 10am this morning, a decade after he accompanied the Queen when she officially named the ship in Southampton in January 2004.

He visited QM2 while she is berthed at the Ocean Terminal. The Duke of Edinburgh shared a joke with crew members as he was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the luxury cruise liner Queen Mary 2 to mark its 10th anniversary.

QM2 marked her arrival in the port when she was joined by Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria in sounding a birthday salute which echoed across the city as the three vessels berthed in the docks.

Despite the early hour crowds of people lined Southampton Water to watch as the fleet came alongside the Eastern and Western Docks for the day of celebration.

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After arriving in the Solent at 4am the sister ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria took the lead as they made their dramatic entrance into port followed by QM2.

With passengers lining the vessels’ decks, the trio, by then side-by-side off the Eastern Docks, the ships’ whistles sounded their own version of Happy Birthday as QM2 made her way to the Ocean Terminal.

Later today Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria vessels will move from their positions at around 8pm in preparation for the evening’s celebrations.

They will be followed by QM2 at around 9.30pm.

She is set to reverse out of her berth and hold her position in the water, creating the breathtaking site of a curved array of the “Three Queens”.

Todd Travers, ten, from Locks Heath, will press the button to start the fireworks display at 10pm.

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As reported by the Daily Echo, the youngster was chosen for the job by Cunard as he was born on the same day QM2 became the company’s flagship.

The ten-minute display will mark one minute for each of QM2’s decade as Cunard’s flagship.

QM2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria, will then make their way to cross the Atlantic to New York as the fireworks finale comes to an end.

Where to see the fireworks at 10pm

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