The duchess of Cambridge, due to deliver her first child next month, had been selected as godmother to the new Royal Princess from Princess Cruises. At 3:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Middleton will be in Southampton, England, and ready to smash a bottle of Champagne on the bow of the ship. (Go to Princess Cruises to watch the live stream.)
British singer Natasha Bedingfield will perform during the event, and there will be plenty of pomp too with performances by the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) and the pipers of the Irish Guards.
The new ship will hold 3,600 passengers and features a large piazza-style atrium that will serve as a gathering point, a glass-bottomed walkway on the top deck that extends 28 feet beyond the ship's edge, top deck pool with poolside cabanas and balconies on all outside staterooms.
The ship is to depart on Sunday for its maiden voyage, which will go to Barcelona, Spain. That will be followed by sailings from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the Caribbean in the fall.