Duchess Kate to become a godmother -- to a cruise ship

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, accompanies Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, not pictured, to Baker Street underground station in London for a visit to mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground on March 20, 2013.
AP Photo/Sang Tan

The Duchess of Cambridge is going to be a godmother -- not to a baby, but to a boat.

Princess Cruises announced Tuesday that the former Kate Middleton will name the newest ship in the company's fleet, the Royal Princess, this summer.

The ceremony, set for June 13 in Southampton, England, will uphold British ship-naming traditions, the company said, including a blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards.

Princess Cruises' President and CEO Alan Bucklew said in a statement: "It is a great honor 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 3,600-passenger ship, which boasts an oversized atrium, a glass-bottomed SeaWalk (extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship) and a television studio, will sail the Mediterranean this summer before embarking on cruises in the Eastern Caribbean beginning in the fall.

The pregnant Kate is following in the footsteps of other famous ship-namers, the Daily Mail notes, including Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and her husband's mother, the late Princess Diana, who named the original Royal Princess ship in 1984.