The last captain of the QE2 is starting his New Year in shipshape fashion after receiving Royal approval.
Captain Ian McNaught was awarded the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
The accolade is awarded to those who have given personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch’s family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch.
The 64-year-old, from Washington, said: “This has come very much out of the blue, but naturally I am very proud and honoured.”
Cpt McNaught’s current role is deputy master of Trinity House London - of which The Princess Royal is master.
Trinity House looks after nearly 600 navigational aids, from lighthouses, to buoys and beacons, and the latest satellite navigation technology.
This has come very much out of the blueCaptain Ian McNaught
He said: “I get to work with the Princess Royal regularly, she is very hands on and knowledgeable of the maritime industry.
“I spend the week down in London and then I come back home to Washington at weekends.”
Cpt McNaught, who is married to wife Susan and father to Steven, 31, a first officer, was also the last captain of the QE2 before she was turned into a floating hotel in Dubai in 2008.
He said: “One of my proudest moments was when Her Majesty came on board the QE2 in Southampton, this was just before we sailed to Dubai, she spent the day with us.”
Cpt McNaught, who went to Monkwearmouth School, started out his career working for BP and navigating tankers before working for Cunard Line.
He added: “I think one of my other most notable moments was sailing alongside Princess Anne on our No.1 boat at the head of the flotilla procession for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”