Her Majesty the Queen officially named Britannia in a spectacular ceremony held at Southampton's dock-side yesterday.
The naming of a ship and a bottle smashing over the bow is a long held tradition that marks the official start of a ship's journey. Previously naming Royal Yacht Britannia, Cunard's QE2 and P&O's Oriana, Her Majesty The Queen was the ultimate figure to name the largest ship ever built for the British market.
During a lavish ceremony where P&O pulled out all the stops, the red carpet was bursting with exciting entertainment including a performance from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, dancing from the Strictly Come Dancing stars and a salute from The Tigers parachute team. Hosted by Rob Byrdon, from start to finish the ceremony was a truly proud moment for all attending and watching worldwide.
After a inspirational speech from David Dingle, Chief Executive Officer of P&O Cruises, Her Majesty took to the podium with Captain of Britannia, Paul Brown. Following her official blessing of the ship, she pressed the all important button that released the bottle to smash against the hull. Followed by cheering, confetti and an instrumental version of 'Britannia', it was a moment that will be remembered forver.
After the ceremony, Her Majesty went on a guided tour of the ship where she enjoyed the numerous venues, met the crew and dined in one of the luxurious restaurants.
Other celebrities present at the ceremony includde Darcy Bussell, Tess Daley, Anneka Rice and Sally Gunnell.
Britannia will set sail on her maiden voyage later this week before spending the summer months exploring the Mediterranean and Norwegian Fjords.
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