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Kate to name 'Royal Princess'

The Duchess of Cambridge is to officially name a new cruise liner in Southampton this summer.

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Duchess of Cambridge to name Southampton ship

The Duchess of Cambridge Credit: Princess Cruises

The Duchess of Cambridge is to officially name a new cruise liner in Southampton this summer.

Kate, whose baby is due in mid-July, will visit the city on June 13 for the naming ceremony of Princess Cruises' 3,600-passenger Royal Princess.

The ceremony will involve a blessing, the celebratory tradition of smashing a bottle over the hull of the ship and a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the Irish Guards.

The Duchess will also go on board for a brief tour of the new liner which will leave on its maiden voyage on June 16.

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."

The Royal Princess will go on Mediterranean cruises this summer followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn.

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