Duchess of Cambridge launches Royal Princess liner (27 photos)
TODAY Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, smashed 15litre of champagne into boat called the Royal Princess. We know that’s the name of because Kate told us “I name this ship Royal Princess … May God bless her and all who sail in her.” The nebuchadnezzar of Moët & Chandon retails at £1,250.
The Mirror said “It smashed into the ship’s side and burst as if it had been shot from a cannon.”
Kate was accompanied by the Southampton Dock by the Band of the Royal Marines and the Irish Guards Pipers. The Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Tim Dakin, did a blessing. The former chairman of P&O Cruises, Lord Sterling of Plaistow, told the Times:
“I remember when young Diana named her first cruise ship and she said she was quite nervous. The Duchess was wonderful today. She has this very relaxed easy style with people, not just the high and mighty.”
Company president Alan Buckelew added:
“To welcome Royal Princess into our fleet, we are incredibly honoured that Her Royal Highness will officially name the ship today… The naming of a ship is a tradition thousands of years old. The ritual marks the birth of a vessel, and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for the ship, its crew, and passengers. Perhaps the most important element of the naming tradition is the godmother selected to christen a ship. A godmother is the figurative patron of the ship through its entire life, and symbolises the spirit of the vessel. We can think of no more fitting godmother for our magnificent new ship. Her Royal Highness is an inspiring ambassador for Britain, and she is admired around the world for her style and grace, and for her compassion for others.”
The BBC’s John Kay says “She looked relaxed, calm and happy”.
As a Royal expert, Kay is at any time able to speak for between four and seven minutes on the state of Kate’s mind, and pump out 4,000 words on the the Real Kate / Harry / Wills.
The Mail says the “Dalmatian-print Hobbs coat worn by Duchess of Cambridge to launch Royal Princess cruise ship sells out in minutes”.
It was all as if nothing had changed in 100 years. In time we will surely get to boo and hiss at the made-for-panto Royal Family. But for now the PR offensive has worked. It was just a good job we all got to see it – that was Kate’s last day at work before she takes a well-earned break.