When launched in 1865, The Queen was the world's largest screw steamer in regular service; only Mr. Brunel's monster Great Eastern was bigger but her chequered career was anything but normal. The Queen was built for the Liverpool-based National Line [the National Steam Ship Company] by Laird's at Birkenhead in 1865. Registered at 3,412 tons, she carried a schooner rig on three masts and measured 381 feet in length with a 42½ foot beam. Capable of 10 knots at full steam, her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York via Queenstown was a great success and she soon settled into a regular schedule only briefly interrupted by a short spell as a troopship transporting men to Abyssinia for the British Army's campaign there in 1867. After a year of departures from London (in 1872), she was lengthened and given compound engines in 1873-4 at which point she was fitted with a second funnel. Reverting to Liverpool sailings, she then remained on that route until 1894 when she was converted for cargo only. Withdrawn from service in December the same year, she was finally sold for scrapping in 1896.