Duchess of Cambridge to name Princess cruise ship

Story highlights

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to name Royal Princess
  • The naming is set for June 13 in Southampton, England
  • The Duchess is expected to deliver her first child in July

Just before she becomes a new mother, the Duchess of Cambridge is set to become a godmother -- to a cruise ship.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will name Princess Cruise Lines' new ship, the Royal Princess, in a naming ceremony in Southampton on June 13, according to the cruise line.

"It is a great honor for Princess Cruises that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge has accepted our invitation to become the Godmother to Royal Princess," said Alan Buckelew, the line's president and CEO, in a statement. "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."

The traditional ship-naming will include a blessing and a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards. The naming ceremony will cap off a week of events showcasing the new 3,600 passenger ship, which is scheduled to set sail on her maiden voyage on June 16.

The new ship features balconies on all outside state rooms, a glass-bottomed walkway that extends over the water 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and a private dining experience called Chef's Table Lumiere that envelops diners in a curtain of light.

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The duchess joins other Princess Cruises godmothers in naming a ship, including her husband's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, actresses Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren and late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The duchess and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, are expecting their first child in July.