Joining a long list of beloved and esteemed cruise ship Godmothers – think Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Dame Julie Andrews – the Duchess of Cornwall has been revealed as the Godmother for Saga Cruise’s new ship, Spirit of Discovery.
With the ship setting sail this summer, the highly anticipated naming ceremony will take place in Dover, Kent on 5th July, the first naming ceremony to happen at the Port of Dover in over a decade.
Naming ceremonies are a huge deal when it comes to a ship’s launch, with a ship only really becoming a ship when it is christened by its Godmother, usually with a bottle of bubbly smashed against the hull.
Before taking part in the prestigious ceremony, the Duchess will be given a tour of the ship, which is docked at the Dover Western Docks following a whopping £250m redevelopment of the area.
During her tour, the Duchess of Cornwall will get the chance to take in Spirit of Discovery‘s contemporary yet luxurious new furnishings, including over 1,000 pieces of art, with 400 original pieces being commissioned from British-based artists.
Befitting of the occasion, local Kent wine producer Hush Heath will provide the famous sparkling wine jeroboam for the ceremony, which is a specially blended edition especially for Spirit of Discovery. As president of the UK Vineyards Association, Camilla will no doubt be familiar with the local winery.
Along with Hush Heath, the Duchess is also no stranger to Saga Cruises, with both sharing a common link in their support for the charity The Silver Line.
The charity, which helps older people battling with loneliness, was founded by TV presenter Dame Esther Rantzen after she experienced loneliness herself following the death of her husband. The charity is now Saga’s first national charity partner.
‘I am delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to be Godmother of the Spirit of Discovery,’ said Lance Batchelor, Group CEO of Saga on the exciting news.
‘The launch of our new ship is a key moment in both the history and future of Saga. Carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers, she is a boutique ship that offers our customers and members the highest standards of accommodation, furnishings, cuisine and entertainment. I am immensely proud of what we have created with shipyard Meyer Werft.’
The Duchess of Cornwall joins a long list of royal women who hold the coveted title of Godmother, with Her Majesty The Queen looking after the QE2 and QM2, and the Duchess of Cambridge the Godmother and the late Princess Diana both having acted as Godmother for Princess Cruises Royal Princess.
Let’s all be sure to raise a glass of English bubbly to Spirit of Discovery and the Duchess on the 5th.