LONDON – The United Kingdom’s Prince William, his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and natural historian David Attenbourough on Thursday attended the launch of a scientific research vessel that will go on exploratory missions in Antarctica and the Arctic in the years to come.
A public vote had decided that the ship should be named “Boaty McBoatface,” but that name was set aside in favor of the RRS Sir David Attenborough in homage to the British broadcaster and historian.
The boat’s christening took place at the Cammell Laird Shipyard in Berkenhead, northwestern England.
Prince William and his wife Catherine boarded the new vessel and met a team of engineers and apprentices involved in the ship’s construction.
The royals, along with Attenborough himself, spoke with scientists, who explained what type of equipment and systems would be used on board to carry out future research work.
The couple also met a group of school children who had participated in a polar exploration program.
Catherine was tasked with “christening” the vessel by smashing a bottle of champaign against its hull.
The ship, which belongs to the Natural Environment Research Council and is operated by the British Antarctic Survey, will allow state of the art technology to be used in Antarctic and Arctic research missions in the coming 25-30 years.