The waiting and suspense is over: Royal Caribbean has found a winner in its "Search for a Godmother" contest for Independence of the Seas, its new ship that launches next week. Elizabeth Hill, who established a charity for youth at risk, has been given the honour. She hails from Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
Four "British woman who have done extra-ordinary things" from across the country have really had an eventful few days after making it through as a finalist in the "Search for a Godmother" competition. After finding out they were the finalists chosen from 1,500 entries, the four ladies were whisked off to Finland on a private jet for a sneak peek at the ship and then faced a judging panel which included Sir Steve Redgrave, five-time Olympic gold medalist.
Elizabeth was nominated by her 12-year-old daughter Alice; she wanted to see her mum win as acknowledgment for her good deeds -- plus, taking holidays on a cruise ship (which comes as a bonus for winning the competition) would mean Alice's mum would have to take a break from work and enjoy herself!
All candidates had to work with young people in the community and Elizabeth has clearly done this -- she set up a charity for young people who have failed in school and are in danger of exclusion.
Elizabeth said: "I feel very blessed to be given this opportunity to raise the profile of our charity through association with the Steve Redgrave Fund and Royal Caribbean. Hopefully it will allow us to help more children. The whole experience has been wonderful from beginning to end. It's really such an enormous ship, and I've felt so privileged to be part of the launch and made to feel so special.
"I've really been made to feel like a true superstar, and it will go down in my memory forever."
Now Elizabeth can relax and look forward to the fun part. On April 30 she will christen the latest Freedom-class ship, 160,000-ton, 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas, at its homeport of Southampton, joining the ranks of RCI godmothers Whoopi Goldberg and Steffi Graf.
Countdown to Independence with us!
--by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor
Image of Elizabeth Hill and Sir Steve Redgrave appears courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
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Independence Godmum is Announced!
April 18, 2008