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Duchess Kate formally names Royal Princess cruise ship

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, officially named a cruise liner at a gala ceremony in Southampton, England, on Thursday.

The 31-year-old mother-to-be, wearing a black-and-white Dalmatian print coat from Hobbs with a black hat and heels, boarded the Royal Princess for the naming ceremony, which included a blessing and the traditional smashing of a bottle across the hull.

The duchess cut a ribbon that set the bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne free moments before it broke open against the hull.

The ceremony included a brief tour of the ship for the duchess, who is expected to give birth to her and Prince William's first child in mid-July.

It is expected to be her final solo engagement before the birth, although she is expected to join other senior royals at the upcoming Trooping the Color ceremony.

The duchess has been designated the godmother of the ship, a symbolic position dating back to the 19th century. The actresses Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren have also served in this role.

William's mother, the late Princess Diana, also officially named a cruise ship at the same spot in 1984.

The new 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is scheduled to begin cruising the Mediterranean this summer.