Cunard’s original home of Liverpool is to host the naming ceremony for new ship Queen Anne this summer.
Matt Willis, co-founder of the band Busted, and his TV presenter wife Emma will host the event on June 3.
The godmother of the 3,000-passenger ship has not yet been revealed.
The event in Liverpool is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators to vantage points alongside Mersey, while the naming will be broadcast live to a global audience.
The naming is being staged as part of a 14-night British Isles and Ireland cruise which departs from Southampton on May 24.
The ship is expected to arrive on the Mersey soon after sunrise on June 3.
Plans are being made for Queen Anne’s arrival to include a special salute to the city where Cunard’s pioneering transatlantic service was launched in 1840.
The formal naming will be the highlight of a day of celebration for the ship, currently nearing completion in Italy.
Cunard ships have previously attracted more than a million spectators in Liverpool, first for the maiden call of QE2 in 1990, and in 2015 for the ‘Three Queens’ meet up in front of the Cunard Building to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the company.
Further details of timings, activities, and spectator information for Queen Anne’s visit to Liverpool will be published in due course, according to the company.
Cunard president Katie McAlister said: “Cunard has an incredible bond with the city of Liverpool. It is where our founder Sir Samuel Cunard began his transatlantic line in 1840, so what better place to officially name our new ship than somewhere that holds so many special memories.
“Queen Anne is the next in a fine line for our brand and she will be bursting with breath-taking moments around every corner, evolving our core values of luxury, sophistication, and glamour. Liverpool is known the world over as Cunard’s spiritual home and we are all so excited for the city to see Queen Anne up close on her maiden call.”
Liverpool City Council leader Liam Robinson said: “It’s a huge honour for Liverpool to be chosen as the location for the official naming of Queen Anne.
“The city and Cunard share a rich history, we are the original home of the world-famous cruise line and we staged the incredible spectacle of the Three Queens on the Mersey in 2015, which lives long in many people’s memories.
“This is yet another prestigious, international event taking place in our city, casting Liverpool into the limelight once again and showcasing our enviable maritime offer.
“The naming ceremony is set to be a majestic sight and I’m sure it will attract huge crowds to the waterfront who want to be part of this unique moment in ours and Cunard’s history.”
Matt and Emma Willis added: “We’re delighted to be part of such a fantastic occasion and can’t wait to join everyone in Liverpool for an exciting and action-packed day, full of surprises and celebrations.
“Mersey waterfront will be brought to life on 3 June, as world famous entertainers are set to put on a spectacular show. It’s going to be a day to remember, and we can’t wait to welcome the fourth Queen to the iconic Cunard fleet.”
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