Photo credit: Steve Dunlop stevedunlop.com
The Duchess of Cambridge named new ship Royal Princess at a ceremony in Southampton today.
The Duchess, who is due to give birth in July, conducted the traditional smashing of the bottle over the liner's hull. She also boarded the 3,600-passenger ship for a brief tour.
Agents, media and former Princess clients gathered to watch the proceedings.
Speaking on the dockside, Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises, said the Duchess represented "style, grace and compassion for others".
He said: "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."
The naming ceremony also included performances from pop star Natasha Bedingfield, West End singer Kerry Ellis, the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
Princess Cruises UK managing director Paul Ludlow said: "Carnival UK has a long history of senior members of the royal family naming our ships and Kate is the newest senior member of the royal family who is well-known and much-loved around the world and who is a great role model to represent our brand.
"We are extremely proud, honoured and excited that she accepted and can't thank her enough for doing this for us."
The Royal Princess, which is set to depart Southampton on Sunday, will go on Mediterranean cruises this summer followed by eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn.
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