Godmothers of Princess Ships
Adding a new ship to the fleet is a time of great celebration, and Princess vessels, following nautical tradition, are launched with a ceremonial naming of the ship by a specially-selected godmother. Throughout our company's history numerous accomplished and celebrated women have named our ships. Here we present some of our most noteworthy godmothers who personify the grace, glamour and spirit of the Princess experience.
Sophia Loren – Crown Princess®
September 25, 1990 | Brooklyn, New York
Sophie Loren, unarguably treasured as acting royalty in Italy and around the globe, served as the godmother for the company’s first Crown Princess. With Princess’ Italian heritage, her role delighted the many Italian crew members on the ship.
She arrived at the ceremony driven in a horse-drawn open carriage, and proceeded to the naming platform, where she pulled the lever that released the bottle of champagne against the ship’s hull, officially naming the ship Crown Princess. Lining the decks of Crown Princess during the ceremony, the crew members spontaneously gave her a rousing cheer, much to her delight.
Margaret Thatcher – Regal Princess®
August 8, 1991 | Brooklyn, New York
One of the most "regal" and respected women in the world is undoubtedly Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom and known as the "iron lady."
Throughout her impressive political and diplomatic career, being the godmother of a ship was not an experience she had had, and we were delighted to have her name Regal Princess. Her distinctive, assured voice, as she named the ship, gave an elegance and importance to the occasion.
Original Cast of "The Love Boat" – Dawn Princess®
May 8, 1997 | Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The original cast of the Love Boat – Gavin MacLeod, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Bernie Kopell, Jill Whelan and Lauren Tewes – had not been together in the 10 years since the iconic television show ended. They had enjoyed nine seasons together, before Princess Cruises brought them together for a reunion. And what a reunion it was, as they would collectively serve as the godparents for Dawn Princess.
It was a fitting tribute to the actors on the show that put Princess Cruises on the map and introduced cruise vacations to millions of viewers each week. Dressed in nautical attire harkening back to their TV roles, the cast made a media splash when they stepped up to the podium together to perform the ceremony launching Dawn Princess.
Olivia de Havilland – Grand Princess®
September 29, 1998 | New York, New York
The largest ship in the world at the time of its launch, Grand Princess was one of the most anticipated cruise ships in the industry. The inaugural celebrations in New York harbor were highlighted with the naming of the ship by actress Olivia de Havilland, undoubtedly best-known for her role in the iconic movie “Gone with the Wind.”
Living in Paris at the time, Ms. De Havilland came to New York to be celebrated as the ship’s godmother, and some say delivered one of the most stirring naming speeches of all time. In her beautiful, alto voice, she captivated the hundreds of guests assembled on the quayside, as she talked about the honor of being godmother to the magnificent vessel.
Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal – Ocean Princess®
February 16, 2000 | Fort Lauderdale, Florida
It’s one of the most famous movies about love ever made, and it propelled the movie careers of actors Ali McGraw and actor Ryan O'Neal into high gear. Thirty years after the movie “Love Story” was released, Princess reunited the duo, which had not seen each other during all these years. Launched in February during Valentine’s Week, the ship’s inaugural festivities celebrated romance, and especially the movie that epitomized love.
Arriving at the naming ceremony platform in a classic British MG, the same car featured in the movie, Ms. McGraw and Mr. O’Neal clearly were relishing the moment – not only the chance to name a beautiful ship, but also to rekindle their friendship from 30 years earlier. The crowd assembled for the naming, under the beautiful Florida sunshine, gave a heartfelt cheer as thousands of red confetti hearts rained down on the celebration. Throughout their time onboard Ocean Princes, the stylish Ms. McGraw captivated all she came into contact with, with her warm and charming demeanor.
Martha Stewart – Crown Princess®
June 14, 2006 | Brooklyn, New York
Undoubtedly an arbiter of style and taste in all aspects of everyday living, Martha Stewart christened Crown Princess. Princess selected Ms. Stewart for the honor not only because she serves as an inspiration for stylish and gracious living, but also because of her exceptional achievement with her multi-media brand encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandizing and Internet business.
Ms. Stewart has had more influence on how Americans entertain, cook, decorate and design in and around their homes than almost anyone in history.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge – Royal Princess®
June 13, 2013 | Southampton, England
Like her namesake that debuted in 1984, the new Royal Princess is indeed a special ship, inspiring an equally special godmother. The ship was officially named by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge in a spectacular ceremony on 13 June 2013 in the port of Southampton, combining some nautical traditions, special British elements and contemporary touches.
The former Miss Catherine Middleton and Prince William were married in 2011 and the couple is now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Admired around the world for her style and grace, The Duchess has had a major impact on British fashion and was named one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time Magazine in 2013. She is a supporter of several British charities including The Art Room, Action on Addiction, East Anglia's Children's Hospice, the National Portrait Gallery and the Scout Association. The Duchess named Royal Princess in her last public appearance before giving birth to her first child in July 2013.