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Duchess of Cambridge makes last solo appearance before baby

June 13, 2013|By Susan Denley
  • Britain's Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, leaves after a tour of the Princess Cruises' new ship Royal Princess in Southampton, England, on Thursday.
Britain's Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, leaves after a tour of… (Chris Jackson / AFP/Getty…)

The duchess of Cambridge, only weeks away from her due date, looked fetching in an animal print coat, saucy black hat and high heels Thursday as she christened a new cruise ship, called, fittingly, the Royal Princess.

At a ceremony in Southampton, England, the former Kate Middleton cut a ribbon securing a bottle of champagne (worth 1,250 pounds, or $1,961, according to the BBC).  Once released from its tether, the bottle smashed into the boat, officially naming it -- and, amid torrents of ticker tape, making the duchess its "godmother."

Then she toured the 3,600-passenger ship, which is part of Princess Cruises. The cruise line live-streamed the event, and it's available as video on demand too.

This is expected to be the duchess' final solo public appearance before she withdraws to await her baby, due sometime in July. We'll get one more glimpse of her before that, if all goes as planned: She is scheduled to appear with other royals Saturday at the annual Trooping of the Color ceremony -- aka the queen's birthday parade.

And what about the ship, now that the hoopla is over? It's scheduled to depart Sunday for its maiden voyage, to Barcelona, Spain, my colleague Mary Forgione reports.


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