(9 a.m. EDT) -- Cunard Line has confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen will name the company's new 90,400-ton, 2,092-passenger vessel, Queen Elizabeth, in Southampton on Monday, October 11 -- the announcement that royal-watchers and Cunard fans have all been waiting for with bated breath.
Anyone other than the monarch naming the new Cunarder would have been almost unthinkable, given the history of Cunard ships named Queen Elizabeth.
The original Queen Elizabeth transatlantic liner was named in 1938 by the late Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth. The present Queen, then aged 12, accompanied her mother to Clydebank in Scotland for the event. She also launched the Caronia in 1947, although at that point, she was still a Princess.
By 1967, the young Princess Elizabeth had become Queen Elizabeth II and named the QE2, also launched at the John Brown & Co Shipyard in Clydebank.
Her Majesty also named Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in 2004, although Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall performed the honours for the company's Queen Victoria in 2007.
We've certainly had a few hints that the namer of the new ship would be a very senior royal; the official invitations, which went out a few weeks ago, stressed that there would be "an extremely high level of security" at the event.
Now that the news is official, there will be worldwide attention on the ship during the run-up to October 11. We'll be there to report on the naming and, of course, on the new ship, so stay tuned!
On the Blog: Royal Ship-Naming Trivia!
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor
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