Kate Middleton, 8 Months Pregnant, Formally Names Royal Princess Ship [Video]

Kate Middleton officially named a cruise liner at a ceremony in Southampton, England, on Thursday.

The Dutchess of Cambrige, wearing a black-and-white print coat with a black hat and heels, boarded the Royal Princess for the naming ceremony on Thursday.

The 31-year-old christened a gigantic cruise liner named the Royal Princess. The Royal family officials revealed to reporters that the event was planned as her final solo public appearance before she is expected to give birth in mid-July.

The Duchess of Cambridge, as she has been formally titles since her marriage to Prince William, used a 4-gallon, $1,500 bottle of Moet and Chandon Champagne to do the job, saying: “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her.”

The event was the highlight of a gala ceremony that included a formal blessing and a prayer from the Bishop of Winchester and a performance by pop star Natasha Bedingfield.

Middleton followed in the footsteps of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who named the previous Royal Princess, owned by the same company, Princess Cruises, in 1984.

It was Kate’s last solo engagement before she delivers a baby-girl in July, with Saturday’s Trooping the Colour being the last time she will be seen at an official event before then, The Telegraph reports.

Middleton said it was the first time she had been on a cruise ship. During her gap year after leaving Marlborough College in 2000, she crewed a yacht in the Solent, and as she looked down from the Royal Princess’s bridge she said: “I’m used to going alongside and throwing a rope over.”

Capt Draper asked the Duchess whether she would like to sound the liner’s whistle. After a window was opened the Duchess pressed a button and a long low sound reverberated around the dock.

She laughed and said “brilliant”, adding: “I was expecting something high pitched”.

On board the ship was former Chairman of P&O Cruises Lord Jeffrey Stirling and his wife Dorothy. Lord Stirling was there when Diana named the ship’s predecessor in 1984.

He said: “I remember when young Diana named her first cruise ship and she said she was quite nervous. I was recalling that to the Duchess today and saying today brings back memories for me of Prince William’s mother.”

“The Duchess was wonderful today, she has this very relaxed easy style with people, not just the high and mighty. My biggest fear was that the baby would come early but we got through it without that happening.”

“The 1,083ft long Royal Princess, owned by California-based Princess Cruises, takes 3,560 passengers and more than a thousand crew on its 19 decks. It stands 217ft high – taller than Tower Bridge – and cruises at 22 knots,” The Telegraph writes.

“It features a glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28ft out from the side of the vessel, an open-air cinema, croquet lawn and dancing fountains.”

The liner contains 15,534 miles of electrical cable, 200 tons of marble and 300 tons of paint. On each cruise it provides passangers with 85 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, three tons of ice and up to 18,000 bottles of wine and champagne kept in its cellars.

It is scheduled for its maiden voyage on June 16 when it sets sail for the Mediterranean.

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