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by Mark Tre’ – "The Cruise Examiner"
People used to be able to shop at Harrod’s only shop at sea when RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was in service, but now another luxury retail name, Fortnum & Mason, will be going to sea aboard the new Queen Elizabeth when she enters service in less than a month’s time. Founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason, is to-day owned by the Weston family, different branches of which also control the high-end department store Selfridges and low-cost fashion outlet Primark and Loblaws and No Frills in Canada.
The shipboard Fortnum & Mason will offer a selection of teas, preserves, biscuits and gifts. Its main shop, in London’s Piccadilly, has held royal warrants since 1863 (hence its nickname as "the queen’s grocer"), and it has two branches in Japan. The Weston family, meanwhile, made its fortune in bakeries and biscuits in Canada, where Samuel Cunard had been born a century earlier in Halifax. It is not yet known whether one particular Fortnum & Mason gift, a pair of skull and crossbones cuff links that sells for £110, will be stocked on board Queen Elizabeth.