Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, names Royal Princess cruise ship
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, christened the Royal Princess cruise ship this morning in what is expected to be her last solo public engagement before baby.
Wearing a chic animal print coat and black hat, the pregnant Duchess officially named the new Princess Cruises liner in a ceremony held this morning in Southampton, England. Princess Cruises had announced that the Duchess would act as godmother for the ship in April.
The Duchess cut a ribbon on the 3,600 passenger Royal Princess ship, saying, “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her,” before smashing a bottle of champagne on the hull. They were the same words spoken by her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, when she christened the first Royal Princess ship in 1984.
The Duchess was also given a tour of the ship, which will now sail off on its inaugural cruise to the Grand Mediterranean.
“It is a great honor for Princess Cruises that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has accepted our invitation to become the godmother to Royal Princess,” said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises, in a statement. “We are delighted that the Duchess will launch our new ship and can think of no better way to celebrate our company’s British heritage and our commitment to the country.”
Public figures have long acted as godmothers for new cruise ships. Actress Sharon Stone recently christened AmaWaterways’ new AmaVida in Portugal, while Andie MacDowell broke champagne over the bow of Uniworld Cruises’ Queen Isabella in her role as the ship’s godmother. Kristin Chenoweth will also act as godmother for Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas ship when it launches in fall 2014.
The new Royal Princess cruise ship features the fleet’s largest top deck pool, an indoor golf range, a giant movie screen for nighttime, poolside shows, a 28-foot SeaWalk platform that lets guests walk over the ocean, and interactive water and light shows on deck at night.
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for the naming ceremony of the 'Royal Princess' cruise ship in Southampton, southern England June 13, 2013. The ceremony involved a blessing, the tradition of smashing a bottle over the hull of the ship and a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth