Duchess Kate Wears Dalmatian Print Coat, Christens Royal Princess Ship
- Photo: Rex USA1 of 17
- Photo: Rex USA2 of 17
- Photo: REX Features/Rex USA3 of 17
- Photo: Tim Rooke/Rex/Rex USA4 of 17
- Photo: Rex USA5 of 17
- Photo: Mirrorpix/Splash News6 of 17
- Photo: Matt Dunham/Invision/AP7 of 17
- Photo: Alastair Grant/Invision/AP8 of 17
- Photo: Tim Rooke/Rex USA9 of 17
- Photo: Rex USA10 of 17
- Photo: Rex USA11 of 17
- Photo: DSDD/JRAB/ZOB/ZDF/WENN12 of 17
- Photo: Chris Jackson/Invision/AP13 of 17
- Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Invision/AP14 of 17
- Photo: OLIVIA HARRIS/Reuters15 of 17
- Photo: Andy Stenning/Invision/AP16 of 17
Following in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II and her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, the Duchess Kate traveled to Southampton, England, on Thursday to name Princess Cruises' latest ship, the Royal Princess. The pregnant 31-year-old royal dressed her baby bump in a $265 Dalmatian print coat by Hobbs and wore a black fascinator for the occasion. Looking radiant as ever, the Duchess of Cambridge walked the blue carpet as the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards gave her a musical salute.
The event marked Duchess Kate's final solo engagement before her maternity leave begins; she is due to give birth on July 11, sources reveal in the June 24 issue of Us Weekly.
Upon her arrival, the Duchess shook hands with officials and representatives from the cruise line. After a performance from "Pocketful of Sunshine" singer Natasha Bedingfield, the duchess met two young children. Middleton invited the Rowbotham family, from Milton near Cambridge, to join her for the celebrations; they received care and support from EACH, one of the many charities she supports.
Alie Rowbotham attended the naming ceremony along with her husband, Mick, and their children Izzie, 15, and Charlie, 8. Her son George was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 2003; she spoke to reporters about the organization and the duchess' involvement before Thursday's ceremony. "Izzie and Charlie will be giving the scissors to HRH the Duchess of Cambridge to cut the ribbon," she said. "We're all very excited about meeting the Duchess of Cambridge and very proud and honored to be representing EACH. We're very passionate about the work EACH does with children and their families, having experienced the difference that it makes firsthand."
She added, "The hospice really is a place for living with so much to offer. George especially loved the sessions in the swimming pool and sensory room. It was a place where he could live, rather than being ill all the time. He had lost his sparkle when he was in hospital, but at the hospice he shone again and those memories we will remember forever."
The duchess later walked to a podium where she smashed a bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne against the hull of the Royal Princess. She then looked on as the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards staged a colorful parade to round off the christening ceremony. Afterwards, the duchess took a tour of the boat.
The vast cruise ship features a games room, a casino, a spa, a 28-foot glass-bottomed viewing gallery, 10 restaurants and 1,780 luxury staterooms. Despite the ship's regal name, the vessel was not named after Middleton. Instead, the name was taken from the original Royal Princess ship which launched in 1984 and is no longer in service; Prince William's late mother christened that liner.
MORE ON WONDERWALL:
From the once seemingly aloof bachelor to the now ever-adoring husband, check out George Clooney's transformation.Watch Video »
DIY Celeb Makeup
Learn how to recreate Emmy Rossum's fresh-faced look on Wonderwall.com's DIY Celeb Makeup.Watch Video »
"#RichKids" newcomer Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff dishes about the drama on the new season and about spending QT with her dad, David Hasselhoff!Watch Video »
Check out Emma Stone, Emily Blunt, and Julianne Hough's style statements on this week's OMG Celeb Fashion hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
Sofia Vergara poses in a revealing neon bikini while her "Modern Family" castmates hit the beach in Australia on Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Find out how Duchess Kate and Prince William are coping with little sleep on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
Like us on Facebook?
UP NEXTMovie Makeover
From Crowd Ignite