The Duchess of Cambridge is to officially name a new cruise liner in June, in Southampton.
The expecting royal will become Godmother to the ship, and will follow in the footsteps of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Catherine, will arrive in Southampton on June 13th where the official naming of the ship will take place, of Princess Cruises’ 3,600-passenger Royal Princess. The Duchess will be eight months pregnant and this is expected to be one of her last engagements before the royal takes maternity leave.
As godmother, Catherine will traditionally christen the ship by smashing a champagne bottle over the its hull. The Duchess of Cambridge’s very first engagement was actually a similar one – Catherine christened a boat at Trearrddur Bay Lifeboat Station in Anglesey over two years ago.
During the visit, Catherine will be treated to an opening ceremony that has been described as upholding British ship-naming traditions.
The ceremony will include a blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish guard.
Princess Cruises’ president and chief executive Alan Buckelew said today: ‘It is a great honour 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.’
Shortly after the visit to Southampton, The Duchess of Cambridge is expected to take maternity leave as her and Prince William welcome their first child.