The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will Attend Naming Ceremony of RRS Sir David Attenborough

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet guests attending the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London.


Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead

Thursday 26th September, 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Birkenhead on Thursday 26th September to attend the naming ceremony of the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Before the ceremony, Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a short tour of the ship.

Owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the RRS Sir David Attenborough will enable world-leading research to be carried out in Antarctica and the Arctic over the next 25 to 30 years. Studying these remote regions plays a crucial role in allowing us to understand the changes in our planet’s oceans, marine life and climate systems. 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.

The Duke and Duchess will then proceed to the flight deck. Accompanied by Sir David Attenborough, Their Royal Highnesses will meet scientists who will demonstrate state-of-the art equipment which is used to carry out research whilst at sea and in Antarctica. The Duke and Duchess will also meet schoolchildren involved in BAS’s ‘Polar Explorer’ programme, which encourages and supports schools to enrich their teaching of STEM subjects by educating pupils about polar science and the ship’s future expeditions.

Their Royal Highnesses will then visit the bridge where they will meet the ship’s captains, crewmembers, and hear about its ice-breaking capabilities and navigation systems.

The Duke and Duchess will disembark the ship to attend the official naming ceremony, during which Sir David Attenborough and the Duke will make a few remarks. As the ship’s sponsor, the Duchess of Cambridge will formally name the ship as a bottle of champagne is smashed against the hull. Upon the ceremony’s conclusion, Their Royal Highnesses will meet with members of the public.

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