The Duchess of Cambridge is a sponsor of the RSS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Duchess of Cambridge is a sponsor of the RSS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate smashes champagne on ‘Boaty’

REMEMBER Boaty McBoatface?

A British polar research ship was supposed to be given the moniker after an online competition to name the boat went viral in 2016.

But it was officially named the RRS Sir David Attenborough on Thursday at a royal ceremony attended by the iconic naturalist himself, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The trio waved to spectators as they toured the boat at Birkenhead, near Liverpool, learning about the 129-metre, hi-tech ship from its captains and crew.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Sir David Attenborough (centre) atop the polar research ship in Birkenhead, England. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Sir David Attenborough (centre) atop the polar research ship in Birkenhead, England. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images

As the ship's sponsor, the Duchess of Cambridge formally christened the boat by pressing a button and unleashing a bottle champagne that smashed against the hull.

The Duke of Cambridge also noted how the group was there to celebrate a "true British marvel."

"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!"

"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," he said in his speech.

The future king then praised the work of Sir David, before making a cheeky reference to the boat's almost-name.

"There is no person more fitting for this beacon of scientific research to be named after than you, David," he said.

"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."

The joke appeared to go down well. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
The joke appeared to go down well. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images

 

The RRS Sir David Attenborough was commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world.

When it enters full service in October 2020, it will help scientists to conduct vital research in the polar regions and expand our understanding of the planet's oceans, marine life and climate system.

"We all need this ship. Our world is changing and it's clear that people around the world - especially the young - are becoming more and more concerned about a climate catastrophe," Sir David said.

"But human beings are resilient and skilful. If we pay attention to the scientific knowledge that those who will sail in this ship will gather, then we will stand a much better chance of finding a way to deal with what lies ahead."

 

The boat isn’t expected to enter full service until October, 2020. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
The boat isn’t expected to enter full service until October, 2020. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images

For the disappointed Boaty fans among you, don't despair.

The name will live on through a miniature, robotic submarine on board the ship.

The boat is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
The boat is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
It will conduct vital research in the polar regions. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images
It will conduct vital research in the polar regions. Picture: Peter Byrne-WPA Pool/Getty Images

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