VALENCIA, Calif., June 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Cunard is excited to announce the City of Liverpool as Godparent of its newest ship Queen Anne in recognition of the long-lasting bond with its spiritual home.

On behalf of the City of Liverpool, Cunard has selected five distinguished Liverpool icons to represent the city

Liverpool was the birthplace of Cunard with its first transatlantic crossing departing 184 years ago in July 1840, and it was the company's headquarters for 128 years. The love and affection the people of Liverpool still have for all things Cunard is clear – never more so than when a Cunard ship arrives on the Mersey.

This is highlighted by two of the largest crowds ever to gather for a maritime event – a million people for QE2 in 1990 and over a million for the Three Queens Salute in 2015. This was also the year when Cunard was awarded the honor of The Freedom of the City.

On behalf of the City of Liverpool, the luxury cruise line has selected five distinguished Liverpool icons* to represent the city and officially name Queen Anne.

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.

All proud Liverpudlians, they are Spice Girl and author Melanie C, broadcaster and community leader Ngunan Adamu, local restaurant entrepreneur Natalie Haywood, Liverpool music and cultural legend Jayne Casey, and British Olympian heptathlon athlete Katarina Johnson-Thomson.

Queen Anne Naming Ceremony

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather along the waterfront to witness the time-honored naming ceremony, a tradition believed to bestow good fortune upon the new vessel. 

The proceedings will open with a performance by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra before event hosts, Matt and Emma Willis, take to the stage to oversee the ceremony.

The icons will join Cunard President, Katie McAlister, and Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge for a special naming ceremony, where they will officially introduce the most beautiful ship at sea to its spiritual home, continuing the seafaring tradition by smashing a bottle of champagne against the 249th ship to carry the Cunard name.

Formal proceedings will conclude with a stunning performance by operatic superstar Andrea Bocelli, including his iconic song 'Time to Say Goodbye'.  

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "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. It is a 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. We are equally delighted to have our five chosen Liverpool icons represent the city in the ceremony. All remarkable in their own right, they have inspired generations and collectively capture the essence of the city that has shaped global culture."

Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council said: "It's an incredible honour for the City of Liverpool to be chosen as the Godparent of Queen Anne. This city shares a treasured bond with Cunard dating back to 1839 when we were the original home of the world-famous line. The naming ceremony was a magnificent showpiece that once again cast Liverpool into the limelight, and we are so proud to be forever entwined with Queen Anne as she sails the world. We will always cherish our long-standing relationship with Cunard."

For more information about Cunard or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Advisor, call Cunard at 1-800-728-6273, or visit

For Travel Advisors interested in further information, please contact your Business Development Manager, visit, or call Cunard at 1-800-528-6273.

Notes to Editors

Images and video of Queen Anne's naming ceremony can be downloaded here:  

*Liverpool Icons:

Melanie C is best known as one of the five members of the iconic girl band, the Spice Girls, where she was known as "Sporty Spice" due to her athletic style and energetic performances.

Melanie C pursued a successful solo career, releasing several albums that garnered critical and commercial success.

Melanie C is deeply committed to charitable work. She has supported numerous causes, including those related to children, cancer research, and LGBTQ+ rights. She has been involved with organisations like the Teenage Cancer Trust, Nordoff Robbins, Action Aid and Shelter. Her philanthropic efforts highlight her dedication to making a positive impact on the world.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson has become a global sporting icon, holding numerous records and titles. Founding the Katarina Johnson-Thompson Academy via her own lived experiences, the academy provides support to aspiring athletes from state-school and diverse ethnic communities to access opportunities they have previously not had and, in conjunction with Liverpool FC Foundation, delivers an accessible community athletics program providing children from disadvantaged areas access to sport and physical activity without financial restrictions.

Alleviating obstacles that allow people to access sport is something that Katarina is passionate about as she strives for equality in enabling people the chance to fulfil their potential.

Ngunan Adamu is a seasoned producer, presenter, and international multimedia trainer with over fifteen years of experience at the BBC. She currently leads "UK Black" in the North West, a flagship show dedicated to amplifying the voices and narratives of the African Caribbean community.

Beyond her media expertise, Ngunan is a dynamic entrepreneur and community advocate. As the founder and CEO of iWoman Media Ltd, she drives initiatives that promote diversity and empowerment within the industry. Her work spans women's empowerment, entertainment, exploration, and global inspiration, making a positive impact one story at a time.

Natalie Haywood is the founder and Managing Director of the LEAF Group of companies proudly based in Liverpool. The company, whose ethos is 'Where There's Tea There's Hope', has 180 employees and actively promotes working with local suppliers and partners across the Liverpool City Region.

On top of this, Natalie is active in the Liverpool hospitality scene, helping to create The Brink Café, the UK's first dry bar, of which HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is a patron, plus sitting on the Business Improvement District board and helping Liverpool gain Purple Flag status – a certificate of excellence managing the night-time economy.

Jayne Casey is an iconic figure in Liverpool's music and cultural scene. Known for her support of black music and culture, she manages a live music venue and has played a pivotal role in the city's creative community for over two decades. As a former member of 1970s punk band Big in Japan, she performed with Ian Broudie and Holly Johnson. In the 1990s, she co-founded the successful nightclub empire, Cream. Jayne also co-produced the opening ceremony for Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture and served as its artistic director.

Cunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships since 1840, celebrating an incredible 184 years of operation. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment, and outstanding White Star service. From a partnership with a two-Michelin starred chef, to inspiring guest speakers, to world class theatre productions, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable.  A pioneer in transatlantic journeys and round world voyages, destinations sailed to also include Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska, the Far East and Australia.

There are currently four Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and new ship, Queen Anne, entered service in May 2024. This investment is part of the company's ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service. Cunard is based at Carnival House in Southampton and has been owned since 1998 by Carnival

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