Womb watchers, feast your eyes, for this is likely to be the last time you see the royal fetus in utero.

The unborn progeny of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a final public appearance in Southampton on Thursday where its mother was launching a new liner.

Kate, who is around eight months pregnant, wore a £169 black and white print dress from Hobbs for the naming ceremony of Princess Cruises' 3,600-passenger vessel Royal Princess.

duchess

Duty calls: The Duchess takes her place in Southampton harbour

The royal baby is due mid-July and the launch of the liner is understood to be Kate's final public engagement before putting up her feet and preparing to give birth.

The Duchess looked relaxed as she stepped from her chauffeur-driven vehicle to the quayside and took her place on stage.

Spectators were from East Anglia's Children's Hospice, Kate's charity, SkillForce which has William as its figurehead, and Harry's organisation WellChild.

Kate is the new liner's godmother, a symbolic position similar to a patron or sponsor that dates back to the mid-19th century when leading women were selected for the honour.

duchess of cambridge

The Band of her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth accompanied by the Pipers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards provided a musical accompaniment

Princess Cruises has a history of illustrious godmothers for past ships including Diana, Princess of Wales, who named the first Princess Royal in 1984, actress Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, and Baroness Thatcher.

The Band of her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth accompanied by the Pipers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards gave the start of the ceremonies a military flavour.

They lined Kate's route to her seat after playing rousing tunes such as Pomp And Circumstance, sea shanties and a march called HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The musical celebrations also featured pop singer Natasha Bedingfield, who sang her hit Unwritten.

Alan Buckelew, president and chief executive officer of Princess Cruises, gave a speech praising the Duchess for taking part in the naming ceremony.

duchess of cambridge

Captain Tony Draper (left) and the Duchess watch the bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne break against the ship

"To welcome Royal Princess into our fleet, we're incredibly honoured that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge will officially name the ship today, marking the start of its many journeys through the world's oceans and to fascinating shores.

"The naming of a ship is a tradition thousands of years old. The ritual marks the birth of a vessel, and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for the ship, its crew, and passengers.

"Perhaps the most important element of the naming tradition is the godmother selected to christen a ship. A godmother is the figurative patron of the ship through its entire life, and symbolises the spirit of the vessel.

"We can think of no more fitting godmother for our magnificent new ship. Her Royal Highness is an inspiring ambassador for Britain, and she is admired around the world for her style and grace, and for her compassion for others."

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  • Duchess names cruise liner

    President and CEO of Princess Cruises Alan Buckelew with the Duchess of Cambridge as she looks at an image taken of herself by Getty photographer Chris Jackson during a tour of the Princess Cruises ship after its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal, Southampton.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    President and CEO of Princess Cruises Alan Buckelew with the Duchess of Cambridge as she looks at an image taken of herself by Getty photographer Chris Jackson during a tour of the Princess Cruises ship after its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal, Southampton.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    President and CEO of Princess Cruises Alan Buckelew with the Duchess of Cambridge as she looks at an image taken of herself by Getty photographer Chris Jackson during a tour of the Princess Cruises ship after its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal, Southampton.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge cuts the ribbon at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge during her tour of the Royal Princess after the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal, Southampton.

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper (L) watches as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks during the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper gives Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge a tour on board the Princess Cruises ship during its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Crew look on as Captain Tony Draper (2nd-L) gives Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge a tour on board the Princess Cruises ship during its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Britain's Duchess of Cambridge attends a Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony to officially name the new Royal Princess cruise liner at a gala ceremony, in Southampton, England, Thursday June 13, 2013. It is expected to be her final planned solo event before the birth. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge cuts the ribbon to break the bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne against the ship for the Princess Cruises naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper (L) greets Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd-L) as she arrives for the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: A bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne is readied with a bow prior to the arrival of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge for the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: A bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne is readied with a bow prior to the arrival of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge for the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge smiles at Captain Tony Draper during a naming ceremony for the 'Royal Princess' cruise ship in Southampton, England Thursday, June 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge smiles at Captain Tony Draper as she officially cuts the rope during a naming ceremony for the 'Royal Princess' cruise ship in Southampton, England Thursday, June 13, 2013. (AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge smiles as ticker tape falls during a naming ceremony for the 'Royal Princess' cruise ship in Southampton, England, Thursday, June 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Britain's Duchess of Cambridge attends a Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony to officially name the new Royal Princess cruise liner at a gala ceremony, in Southampton, England, Thursday June 13, 2013. It is expected to be her final planned solo event before the birth. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Cruises' CEO Alan Buckelew at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Cruises' CEO Alan Buckelew at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper (L) watches as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks during the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • Britain's Duchess of Cambridge attends a Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony to officially name the new Royal Princess cruise liner at a gala ceremony, in Southampton, England, Thursday June 13, 2013. It is expected to be her final planned solo event before the birth. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge with Captain Tony Draper at Ocean Terminal in Southampton during the ceremony where she named Princess Cruises' newest ship, Royal Princess, in her capacity as the ship's Godmother.

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge cuts the ribbon to break the bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne against the ship for the Princess Cruises naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watches the bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne break against the ship for the Princess Cruises naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch the bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne break against the ship for the Princess Cruises naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper (L) watches as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looks on during the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper (L) watches as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge cuts the ribbon during the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Crew look on as Captain Tony Draper (2nd-L) gives Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge a tour on board the Princess Cruises ship during its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Crew look on as Captain Tony Draper (2nd-L) gives Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge a tour on board the Princess Cruises ship during its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Captain Tony Draper gives Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge a tour on board the Princess Cruises ship during its naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 9: In this handout photo provided by Royal Princess and Princess Cruises, The Royal Princess, Princess Cruises' newest ship leaves port days before a naming ceremony attended by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal on June 9, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Phill Jackson/Royal Princess & Princess Cruises via Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 9: In this handout photo provided by Royal Princess and Princess Cruises, The Royal Princess, Princess Cruises' newest ship leaves port days before a naming ceremony attended by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal on June 9, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Phill Jackson/Royal Princess & Princess Cruises via Getty Images)

  • The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends Princess Cruises Ship Naming Ceremony

    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 9: In this handout photo provided by Royal Princess and Princess Cruises, The Royal Princess, Princess Cruises' newest ship leaves port days before a naming ceremony attended by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal on June 9, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Phill Jackson/Royal Princess & Princess Cruises via Getty Images)

  • Duchess names cruise liner

    The Duchess of Cambridge during her tour of the Royal Princess after the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal, Southampton.