Jun 132013
 

Kate chose an animal print coat for today’s official naming of the Royal Princess in Southampton.

James Whatling / Splash News

James Whatling / Splash News

As is traditional with naming ceremonies, there was music. Both the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and the Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards performed.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Below we see Kate being welcomed by Alan Buckelew, President & CEO of Princess Cruises.

SeatradeInsider Twitter Feed

SeatradeInsider Twitter Feed

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.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

Chris Ison/PA Wire.

Chris Ison/PA Wire.

Among those taking part in the ceremonies, entertainers Natasha Bedingfield and Kerry Ellis.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

This angle offers a glimpse at the immense scale of the vessel.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

It was a £1,250 (almost $2000) bottle of Moët & Chandon that was smashed against the hull.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Confetti rained from the sky in celebration.

Paul Ludlow, UK Director Princess Cruises Twitter

Paul Ludlow, UK Director Princess Cruises Twitter

Kate seemed to thoroughly enjoy the ceremony.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

After the celebration things moved inside for a tour of the immense vessel.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

The Royal Princess is now the largest ship in the Princess Cruise fleet.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Stwve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

The Duchess spoke with guests invited to the naming ceremony.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

She also spent time on the bridge.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

Royal Princess®/Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop Royal Princess®/Princess Cruises

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.

Hobbs 'Dalmatian Print Mac' coat

Hobbs ‘Dalmatian Print Mac’ coat

The piece is just above knee-length, and a blend of linen and rayon, a good weight for this time of the year.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Hobbs/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

Hobbs

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.

Hobbs Savannah Blazer & Trousers

Hobbs Savannah Blazer & Trousers

Kate kept her accessories simple to offset the busy print.

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Steve Dunlop/Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

Alexander McQueen/Splash News

Alexander McQueen/Splash News

A look at the variety of Wicca bags that were offered at the time.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

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.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises/John Lock & Co./Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises/John Lock & Co./Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

PA Wire

PA Wire

Overall this was a good look for the Duchess.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

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.

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Royal Princess® & Princess Cruises

Kate is expected to attend the Trooping of the Colour ceremony this weekend. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not she she’ll attend the Order of the Garter events on the June 17th.

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A reminder about our Citrine Ring Giveaway.

StyleRocks.com

StyleRocks.com

If you haven’t entered, click here to learn more about the ring and Style Rocks, our contest sponsor.

We’ll see you Saturday for Trooping the Colour.

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