The newest Queen in the Cunard Line fleet has been officially named, with a symbolic godparent no one was expecting. Rather than a single godmother or godfather – widely speculated to be a member of the British Royal Family – the iconic cruise line chose the whole historic City of Liverpool as Queen Anne‘s official godparent.

Five women – all hailing from the amazing city with its rich maritime history – were selected, each representing the unique and diverse culture of the city.

“These distinguished women, who embody the heart and future of Liverpool, just as Queen Anne does for Cunard, have been chosen for their significant contributions to culture at a local, national or international level,” Cunard Line stated.

Queen Anne In Liverpool (Credit: Cunard Line)

The iconic women are Spice Girl and author Melanie C (Sporty Spice), broadcaster and community leader Ngunan Adamu, local restaurant entrepreneur Natalie Haywood, Liverpool punk music and cultural legend Jayne Casey, and British Olympian track-and-field heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thomson. Each attended the ship’s official christening to add their own blessings and good fortune to the vessel.

“All [these women] remarkable in their own right, they have inspired generations and collectively capture the essence of the city that has shaped global culture,” said Katie McAlister, President of Cunard.

While the choice of the entire City of Liverpool and these five representative women was a shock for Cunard Line fans, the city itself has a long-standing maritime history, from trade routes to emigration to modern tourism. Liverpool is also notable for its iconic music scene and cultural arts, and is the fourth largest port in the UK.

“Liverpool is the spiritual home of Cunard, and we are therefore delighted and feel it very fitting that the City of Liverpool is the godparent to Queen Anne,” said McAlister. “It’s testament to the enduring relationship that connects Cunard and the city in which it was founded to the present day when we officially named our new ship on the Liverpool Waterfront, in front of the Cunard Building.”

“It’s an incredible honour for the City of Liverpool to be chosen as the Godparent of Queen Anne,” said Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive of the Liverpool City Council. “This city shares a treasured bond with Cunard dating back to 1839 when we were the original home of the world-famous line.”

While Cunard Line is now headquartered in Southampton, the cruise line still shares interests with Liverpool with occasional visits by the different Queens. Queen Mary 2, for example, will spend a day in the city in September. The 113,000-gross-ton, Pinnacle-class Queen Anne has several additional visits to Liverpool planned for 2025, on different itineraries.

Reactions have been mixed to the announcement of Liverpool and its iconic women named as the new ship’s official godparent. While this is a departure from tradition, it does show the cruise line’s adaptability and acknowledgment of a new era in diversity and community connection.

Some less enthusiastic reactions had hoped for a British Royal to name the new ship, as has been tradition for the other three Cunard Queens currently in service.

Cunard Queen Anne Arrives in South Queensferry (Photo Courtesy: Cunard Line)

The late Queen Elizabeth II christened Queen Mary 2 in 2004, and when Queen Victoria joined the fleet in 2007, she was christened by Camilla Rosemary, now Queen Camilla. Queen Elizabeth II also christened the next youngest of the cruise line’s ships, Queen Elizabeth, in 2010.

Read Also: Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Legacy of Cruise Ships

Several royal candidates were heavily favored for the honors, including the Princess Royal, Anne Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, or Catherine, Princess of Wales. It was also believed that Queen Camilla might reprise her ceremonial role for the new ship.

The confused and disappointed reactions are similar to the reaction when Gwen Stephani was named godmother of Carnival Jubilee. Carnival Cruise Line had spent months hyping the new ship’s connection to Texas and her homeport of Galveston. Despite her accolades in the music industry, however, Stefani has no personal connection to the Lone Star State.

Both Cunard Line and Carnival Cruise Line are owned by Carnival Corporation & plc.

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