Cunard christens Queen Anne as ‘spiritual home’ of Liverpool is named as ship’s godparent

Five Liverpudlian icons – Mel C, Ngunan Adamu, Katarina Johnson-Thomson, Natalie Haywood and Jayne Casey – will represent the city as godparents 

Cunard christens Queen Anne as ‘spiritual home’ of Liverpool is named as ship’s godparent


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

By Laura Hyde |

Cunard has named the City of Liverpool as the godparent for its latest ship, Queen Anne, as the naming ceremony in the English city gets underway.  

The cruise line has chosen ‘five Liverpool icons’ to represent the city, which was the birthplace of Cunard and the departure port for its first transatlantic crossing 184 years ago in July 1840. The city was also home to the company’s headquarters for 128 years, and Cunard was awarded The Freedom of the City in 2015. 

The chosen icons are Melanie Chisolm, Spice Girl and author; Ngunan Adamu, broadcaster and community leader; Natalie Haywood, local restaurant entrepreneur; Jayne Casey, Liverpool music and cultural legend; and Katarina Johnson-Thomson, British Olympian heptathlon athlete.  

In a statement, Cunard said these five women, “who embody the heart and future of Liverpool, just as Queen Anne does for Cunard”, were selected for their “significant contributions to culture at a local, national or international level”.   

“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,” said Katie McAlister, president of Cunard. “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.”  

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather along the waterfront to witness the time-honoured naming ceremony which begins at 16:00 BST on 3 June 2024. British celebrity couple Matt and Emma Willis will host the ceremony, which will feature performances from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. A bottle of champagne will also be smashed against the bow of Queen Anne, which is the 249th ship to carry the Cunard name. 

“It’s an incredible honour for the City of Liverpool to be chosen as the Godparent of Queen Anne,” said Andrew Lewis, chief executive of Liverpool City Council. “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.”  

Queen Anne Cunard Liverpool

Gareth Jones

Queen Anne will spend its inaugural season sailing from Southampton to more than 60 destinations, including the Canary Islands, the Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and Northern Europe

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