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Duchess of Cambridge names ship before maternity leave

This morning, the Duchess of Cambridge named a ship at the port of Southampton as ‘Royal Princess’.

7The ship, from the Princess Cruises fleet, is over 1000ft long and can carry 3600 guests. It has its own spa, casino, a glass bottomed viewing walkway, a shopping atrium, an art gallery and 10 restaurants – a luxurious liner to say the least.

The naming ceremony came after the Duchess arrived and after a number of musical performances: Irish Guards played the bagpipes, followed by a performance from the band of the Royal Marines and singer Natasha Bedingfield also performed her song ‘Unwritten’. These were just a few of the items today.

Catherine said the traditional words of ‘I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her” then smashed a £1,250 Nebuchadnezzar of Moet champagne against the side of ship. Kate then was taken for a tour around the ship by Captain Tony Draper and other staff members.

Kate wore a £169 Hobbs Dalmatian print coat and matching dress with a black fascinator, black Episode Angel heels and a white Alexander McQueen Wicca bag. The CEO of Princess Cruises, Alan Buckelew said of the Duchess ‘She is admired around the world for her style, her grace and her compassion for others’, citing these as reasons for Catherine to be asked to be Godmother of the ship.

The ship will leave port on Friday for a 2 night voyage of preview, then leave for its maiden voyage on Sunday, where it will be based in the Mediterranean Sea during the summer. For the winter, Royal Princess will be stationed in the Caribbean.

This is the Duchess’ last official solo duty before she goes on maternity leave for the birth of her baby in July, though we expect to see her at the Trooping of the Colour on the 15th of June and there is a small possibility she will attend the Order of the Garter ceremony.

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