Kate to "Name" Royal Princess

| Tuesday, 09 Apr. 2013

Kate Middleton Duchess of Cambridge

Princess Cruises just announced that Her Royal Highness, the former Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, will officiate at the naming ceremony for the brand new Royal Princess cruise ship - the newest newest and largest Princess cruise ship ever.

The ceremony at which The Duchess will name the ship will take place in Southampton on Thursday, June 13, and will be the highlight of week-long inaugural celebrations to welcome the vessel into service.

The former Kate Middleton became engaged to Prince William, son of former Princess Diana in October, 2010 and they married in April, 2011. She announced that she had become pregnant in December of 2012. The baby is due in July of 2013. The young Duchess should be very close to the birth of her baby during the ceremony.

Princess did not say whether her husband, Prince William, will be in attendance, but considering her condition, it would not be unexpected. The ceremony will take place in Southampton, England, on June 13.

Are you aware of Kate's condition? Do you think she should do the naming? Tell us here: Cruise Forum

The "naming ceremony," often referred to as the "christening," but not in Britain, is a spectacular event that will uphold British ship-naming traditions including the blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards, together with contemporary highlights. The Duchess will cut a ceremonial rope that holds a bottle of champagne suspended over the bow of the ship. After saying her official "dubbing" pronouncement, she will cut the rope to allow the champagne bottle to break against the hull of the ship.

Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises said "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. 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."

Royal Princess has been under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard near Venice, Italy, for two years. It will arrive at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on Friday, June 7, where a series of events will commence, including the special naming gala event on the evening of Wednesday, June 12. The ship's inaugural celebrations will conclude with her maiden voyage on June 16.

Notably, other British Monarchs have agreed to name ships in the past including the Queen, Elizabeth, for Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, for the Cunard Queen Victoria. Unfortunately (and it is not the fault of the monarchs), the champagne bottle has not broken on the first try on each of these events, so let's root for Princess to a better job in rigging the bottle - for the sake of Kate - who will likely be nervous enough.

Are you aware of Kate's condition? Do you think she should do the naming? Tell us here: Cruise Forum

While the direct line royalty; Queens, Princes and Princesses, often get plenty of opportunities to be in the public eye, it is far rarer for their spouses to play a significant public role. However, the naming of a ship is always done by a woman. The naming of Queen Victoria by Camilla was her first and remains one of her few official public events in all her years of marriage to Charles.

About Royal Princess

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef's Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

The inaugural period of Royal Princess also includes two short preview cruises prior to and following the naming. After her maiden voyage the ship will sail Grand Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn. More information and video previews of the ship are available at www.princess.com/royalprincess.

Are you aware of Kate's condition? Do you think she should do the naming? Tell us here: Cruise Forum

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