Kate Middelton and Prince William have arrived at the naming ceremony for research vessel RSS Sir David Attenborough- which the public voted to be named Boaty McBoatface.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveled to Birkenhead for the ceremony, which will see Kate smash a bottle of Champagne on the ship’s hull.
The Champagne smashing is a tradition while naming a ship dating back hundreds of years.
Kate opted for a light blue coat dress by one of her favorite designers, Alexander McQueen , paired with simple black heels an Asprey clutch bag.
Owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the RRS Sir Dav id Attenborough will enable world-leading research to be carried out in Antarctica and the Arctic over the next (to) Years.
The ship will be available year-round to the UK’s research community.
On board, Their Royal Highnesses will meet a team of engineers from Cammell Laird who have been involved in the ship’s build, including young apprentices.
Founded in Birkenhead in 1828, Cammell Laird specialises in ship building, repair, refit and conversion as well as providing engineering services to the energy sector.
Accompanied by Sir David Attenborough, the Duke and Duchess will then visit the flight deck to meet scientists who will demonstrate how state-of-the art equipment is used to carry out research whilst at sea.
The Duke and Duchess will also meet schoolchildren involved in BAS’s ‘Polar Explorer’ program.
The program encourages and supports schools to enrich their teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects by educating pupils about polar science and the ship’s future expeditions.
Kate and William will then visit the bridge to meet the captains, crew members, and hear about its ice-breaking capabilities and navigation systems.
As the ship’s sponsor, The Duchess of Cambridge will then formally name the vessel as a bottle of champagne is smashed against the hull.
More than 124, 000 people voted to name it Boaty McBoatface in a public poll, but that name was vetoed and it was instead named after the broadcaster.
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But Boaty lives on, in the form of a miniature, unmanned, yellow submarine which will be on board the boat.
The ship will lead a UK / US project to study the Thwaites Glacier.
The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica covers 182, 000 square kilometers – an area the size of Great Britain – and is one of the biggest
The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) will deploy scientists to investigate what is causing ice loss at the glacier, how quickly it could collapse and how that would impact global sea levels.
The five-year program, called the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC), is the largest to be undertaken by the UK and US together in more than 70 years.
Professor Duncan Wingham, chief executive of NERC, said: “The fate of the Thwaites Glacier is one the big unknowns in Antarctic science.
“We currently do not know enough about the likelihood, timing and magnitude of the collapse of West Antarctic glaciers such as Thwaites for countries to be able to plan accordingly.
“NERC and NSF, working together, are uniquely placed to attempt to reduce the scientific uncertainty about these unknowns, providing answers to one of the most important questions facing us about global sea-level rise. “