Kate chose an animal print coat for today’s official naming of the Royal Princess in Southampton.
Below we see Kate being welcomed by Alan Buckelew, President & CEO of Princess Cruises.
More on the naming tradition from the Sun:
Alan Buckelew… said before the ceremony: “To welcome Royal Princess into our fleet, we’re incredibly honoured that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge will officially name the ship today, marking the start of its many journeys through the world’s oceans and to fascinating shores.
“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.
Kate is officially the godmother of the ship, more from the Daily Mail:
Despite the ship’s regal name, the vessel was not named after the Duchess of Cambridge. Instead, the name was taken from the original Royal Princess ship which launched in 1984 and is no longer in service.
Becoming a ship’s godmother is a symbolic position similar to a patron or sponsor that dates back to the mid-19th century when leading women were selected for the honour.
Among those taking part in the ceremonies, entertainers Natasha Bedingfield and Kerry Ellis.
After the entertainment, the traditional prayer was offered, followed by Captain Tony Draper asking “Your Royal Highness, would you do us the great honour of naming my ship.” To which the Duchess responded: “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her” before cutting the ribbon that released the champagne bottle and sent it smashing into the Royal Princess.
This angle offers a glimpse at the immense scale of the vessel.
It was a £1,250 (almost $2000) bottle of Moët & Chandon that was smashed against the hull.
Confetti rained from the sky in celebration.
Kate seemed to thoroughly enjoy the ceremony.
After the celebration things moved inside for a tour of the immense vessel.
The Royal Princess is now the largest ship in the Princess Cruise fleet.
The Duchess spoke with guests invited to the naming ceremony.
She also spent time on the bridge.
Southampton’s Daily Echo offered a live blog of the event, here they share Kate’s reaction after pushing the button to blow the ship’s horn:
Kate has just giggled and said ‘brilliant, I was expecting something high-pitched’ and threw her hands in the air as she pressed the ship’s horn.
The festivities in Southampton really got underway last night, with a gala dinner aboard the ship.
Many of us were surprised to see the Duchess in an animal print, including your faithful scribe, it is the first time I recall seeing in an animal pattern like this. Kate wore the Dalmatian Print Mac coat by British High Street retailer Hobbs.
The piece is just above knee-length, and a blend of linen and rayon, a good weight for this time of the year.
Hobbs describes the coat this way:
Dalmatian is the print of the season. Be stylish and animal friendly with the Hobbs Dalmatian coat – a minimalist design that lets the print make the statement.
No one will be surprised the coat quickly sold out at Hobbs.
As of this writing it has also sold out at John Lewis, but remains available at House of Fraser in a few sizes. For those fond of the print, Hobbs does offer the Savannah Blazer and Savannah Trousers.
Kate kept her accessories simple to offset the busy print.
She carried a bag I don’t recall seeing before, the Alexander McQueen Wicca Mini-Satchel. It dates to at least 2011, My Small Obsessions pointed out that actress Emma Watson carried the medium size that fall.
A look at the variety of Wicca bags that were offered at the time.
The bag is no longer available in any size from the current assortment I see available at Lyst, a site that aggregates products from different retailers. Here is how the Wicca was described when first released.
….beautiful, petite satchel from Alexander McQueen. Its understated styling make it the perfect piece of arm candy for everday. While its clean lines and soft shape demonstrates Sarah Burton’s softer approach to the label’s dramatic style.
Kate also sported a hat we’ve not previously seen.
Richard Palmer of the Express reports it is by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Company.
It took place at the same berth where the Queen named Cunard’s luxury liner the Queen Elizabeth in 2010. Princess Diana named the first Royal Princess in 1984.
Wearing a £169 dalmation print coat from Hobbs and a black hat by Sylvia Fletcher at Lock & Co, the Duchess looked happy and healthy as she was greeted by hordes of wellwishers.
It appears to be a variation of the company’s Salsa style, shown above in the hot pink color. The Salsa is available in a variety of colors for £295, about $460 at today’s exchange rates.
Kate also wore her Annoushka pearl drops and black pumps.
Some may recall this is not the first naming ceremony Kate has attended. Kate christened a lifeboat in Anglesey on February 23, 2011. It was her very first public appearance after her engagement to Prince William was announced.
Overall this was a good look for the Duchess.
That is somewhat surprising, as I generally do not favor animal prints, certainly not on a scale this large. They usually seem more suited to a scarf, a shoe, or other limited usage. But for some reason this was an appealing ensemble for Kate. (Said with the acknowledgement that animal patterns and prints can be a polarizing topic.)
As mentioned, Kate very much seemed to enjoy the ceremony, as well as meeting and greeting guests and dignitaries.
A reminder about our Citrine Ring Giveaway.
We’ll see you Saturday for Trooping the Colour.
- Learn more about the Royal Princess by visiting the website dedicated to the new ship, or checking the photo albums at the Princess Cruises Facebook page.
- Watch a taped feed of this morning’s ceremonies here
- the Daily Echo’s live blog is here
- See other Princess Cruise ship godmothers here, including Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn
- ITV’s story is here, the Sky News story is here and CNN’s story is here