Cunard names City of Liverpool as Godparent of Queen Anne with five Liverpudlian icons

3 June 2024 [Southampton, UK]

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.

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 honour 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-Thompson.

Queen Anne naming ceremony

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather along the waterfront to witness the time-honoured 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’s 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.”