Home Royal News Prince William & Catherine launch the RSS Sir David Attenborough with the man himself

Prince William & Catherine launch the RSS Sir David Attenborough with the man himself

by Victoria Howard

The UK’s latest research ship was christened by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today, in front of the man after which it was named: Sir David Attenborough.

William and Catherine were joined by the national treasure for the launch of the RSS Sir David Attenborough at Cammell Laird shipyard on the Wirral.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess toured the ship with Attenborough, to see the state-of-the-art equipment it has onboard.

The group also met with engineers, including young apprentices, who were involved in the build, which came at a cost of £200 million.

Embed from Getty Images

William and Kate explore the RSS Sir David Attenborough (Kensington Palace)

Hearing from scientists that will work aboard the ship and benefit from its research, the trio were told about how the RSS Sir David Attenborough will allow study of the world’s oceans and understand more about climate change. The boat was commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and will be operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Robotic instruments can be deployed from the vessel to areas humans cannot access.

It will operate in both Antarctica and the Arctic and will be able to spend up to 60 days at sea – or in sea ice – without being refuelled.

Embed from Getty Images

This will replace The RRS James Clark Ross, and the RRS Ernest Shackleton; the former is to be decommissioned as it is now at its lifespan of 25 years, and the latter is returned to its owners GC Rieber.

Following this tour, William, Kate and David greeted the crowds, with the Royals on a parr with Sir David for the excitement generated with the public!

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

You might recall a poll was launched to name the vessel, with the most popular suggestion being ‘Boaty McBoatface’. Government ministers, however, decided to step in and name it after the 94-year-old naturalist.

However, Boaty was given to another vessel: Boaty McBoatface is a yellow submarine, and will help with the research conducted by the large ship.

In front of the crowds, Prince William said: “As last week’s climate protests the world over and yesterday’s report on our oceans and frozen regions demonstrated, there has never been a more important moment for this ship to get to work, and there is no person more fitting for this beacon of scientific research to be named after than you, David.

“You have shown us how awe-inspiring the natural world is, and also how fragile and endangered it is, and you have inspired us all to do as much as we possibly can to protect it.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Sir David Attenborough at the naming of an artic research ship (Kensington Palace)

“We are of course here to celebrate a true British marvel,” William continued. “One that is strong, sturdy, and incredibly well engineered that deepens our understanding of the impact our behaviour has on the world around us, and arms us with the facts to do something about it, an icon capable of feats not seen before and potentially never seen again.

“And no – I’m not talking about you David. Those words wouldn’t do you and your lifetime’s work justice!

“I’m referring to the hugely impressive ship behind us, named in your honour, that Catherine and I have just had the pleasure of looking around.

“The RRS Sir David Attenborough is a testament to the cutting-edge science and engineering expertise right here on Merseyside. It is also a testament to the UK’s world-leading role on polar research.

“Through this state-art-of-the-art new ship, the British Antarctic Survey will help to expand global knowledge of the polar oceans, and the impact of climate change on this crucial region.”

Embed from Getty Images

“And there is no person more fitting for this beacon of scientific research to be named after than you, David. “You have shown us how awe-inspiring the natural world is, and also how fragile and endangered it is. And you have inspired us all to do as much as we possibly can to protect it.

“It is my immense privilege and relief to welcome Sir David Attenborough, rather than Boaty McBoatface, to speak.”

Addressing crowds who had come to see the ship, Sir David said: “It’s no news to any of you that the world is facing great, great problems and the most aware of that are the young people of today, who will inherit this world. Great problems require great research and facts in order to solve them.

“That’s what this astonishing ship will be here to do, to find out the facts and find the science with which to deal with problems that are facing the world today and will increasingly do so tomorrow.

Embed from Getty Images

“So there could be no more important function for any ship, anywhere in the world, than those than those that will be dealt with by this remarkable and cutting edge ship.

“It is the greatest possible honour that it should carry my name, and I wish good luck and good fortune to everyone who will sail in her.”

Kate is the sponsor of the ship, meaning it was her task to christen it – as tradition – with champagne. She plunged a large yellow button to release the bottle and smash it across the hull.

“May God bless her, and all who those who sail in her,” the Duchess said.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

The ship is a 130m-long, 15,000-tonne floating science lab, and it should be onto its commissioning trials in the next few weeks.

It is the largest commercial ship built in Britain in the last 30 years, and will be in service for 25-30 years.

You may also like

1 comment

Alexandra Romanov Rodrigues Cuco Thu 26 September, 2019 - 10:58 pm

God blesses

Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: