Queen Victoria docks in Liverpool

The Duchess of Cornwall was on board the Queen Victoria when it berthed in Liverpool earlier.

Hundreds of people saw the 90,000-tonne Cunard liner sail down the River Mersey to dock at the cruise terminal for the first time at about 0900 BST.

The ship is the largest Cunard has ever built after the Queen Mary II, and with 12 decks it can accommodate more than 2,000 passengers.

Its visit marks 170 years of Cunard operations from Liverpool.

The company's first ship, The Britannia, set sail from Liverpool to Boston on 4 July 1840.

In pictures: Queen Victoria visit

The duchess launched the Queen Victoria in December 2007.

She boarded the ship for a ceremonial exchange of plaques to mark the occasion.

Camilla was also due to meet Sea Cadets in Wallasey before attending a tea party to celebrate the 35th birthday of the children's charity Kind.

Her Merseyside visit was to conclude in the Anfield area of Liverpool where she will see community workers tackling litter problems.

Peter Shanks, president and managing director of Cunard, said: "Liverpool is our spiritual home and the welcomes our ships always receive are the ones to remember for their warmth and size of the crowds.

"This call is especially poignant as it marks the 170th anniversary of the departure of Cunard's new Britannia in July 1840 so there could be no better way to celebrate this than the arrival of our newest ocean liner Queen Victoria."

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