Thousands on waterfront for Queen Anne ceremony

‘Tens of thousands of people flock to Liverpool waterfront for spectacular naming ceremony for new Cunard cruise vessel, the £470m Queen Anne – see story for more pictures. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool ‘icons’ on stage for the Cunard Queen Anne naming ceremony. Picture from Cunard


For the second time in less than a decade thousands of people have flocked to Liverpool waterfront for a Cunard spectacular.

At around 7am on Monday morning the £470m Queen Anne cruise ship, Cunard’s newest vessel and the fourth in its fleet, sailed majestically up the Mersey to berth at Liverpool Cruise Terminal for what was a special day.

Although not on the scale of the 2015 Three Queens event, the naming ceremony for Queen Anne, which took place at around 4pm on Monday afternoon, saw the waterfront thronging with people. 

Crowds had started to gather as soon as the ship arrived in the morning and had gradually built up during the day. Those who had waited for hours were treated to amazing performances.

On stage were top Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, who wowed the crowds with an incredible performance, as well as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and more.

On-stage proceedings were hosted by Busted musician Matt Willis and TV presenter Emma Willis.  And fve Liverpool ‘icons’ were invited on stage to represent the city.

They were former Spice Girl and author Melanie C, broadcaster and community leader Ngunan Adamu, local restaurant entrepreneur Natalie Haywood, Liverpool music and cultural legend Jayne Casey, and British Olympic heptathlete  Katarina Johnson-Thompson.


Cunard vessel Queen Anne on the Mersey. Picture by Christopher Ison for Cunard
Cunard vessel Queen Anne on the Mersey. Picture by Liverpool City Council
Liverpool ‘icons’, from left, Natalie Haywood, Ngunan Adamu, Katarina Johnson-Thomson, Melanie C, and Jayne Casey. Picture by Christopher Ison for Cunard
Andrea Bocelli
Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli performs at the Cunard Queen Anne naming ceremony
Cunard vessel Queen Anne at Liverpool Cruise Terminal. Picture by Tony McDonough


Liverpool was the birthplace of Cunard’s first transatlantic crossing, 184 years ago in May 1840, and was the company’s headquarters for 128 years. Southampton has been Cunard’s home port since 1967 but the bond with Liverpool remains strong.

During the ceremony, the City of Liverpool was then named as Queen Anne’s Godparent in recognition of the long-lasting bond with its “spiritual home”.

READ MORE: Will Cunard cruises ever return to Liverpool?

READ MORE: Online exhibition illustrates 100 years of Cunard

An iconic smashing of the Champagne bottle against the ship signified this historic moment and wished the vessel and its crew good fortune on its future voyages.

Shortly after 10pm on Monday night Queen Anne departed the Merseyside with spectators on both banks of the river treated to a fireworks display.

Katie McAlister, president of Cunard, said: “I would like to thank our Liverpool Icons, these amazing women, for representing the city and taking part in this historic ceremony and to all of the people of Liverpool for once again opening your hearts and welcoming Cunard and Queen Anne.

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