Ship inaugurations are often big events which entail a number of ceremonies, including rituals carried out by those who believe in superstitions. In 2007, the Duchess of Cornwall was invited to the inaugural event of Cunard’s Queen Victoria and was granted the honour of christening it.
However, according to the Telegraph’s cruise writer Gary Buchanan, Camilla suffered a gaffe that prompted gasps from other guests.
He wrote: “Induction of ships dates back at least 4,000 years when voyages were often perilous.
“Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans invoked their gods. Until a few hundred years ago, only men christened new ships, but by the 19th century tradition had shifted to women as the preferred godmothers; sponsors, to use the correct parlance.
“Maritime lore holds that it is a bad omen if the bottle of christening wine fails to shatter.
“In December 2007, the gasps echoed around the stage when, despite the best efforts of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the magnum of Veuve Cliquot bounced off the hull at the christening ceremony of Cunard’s Queen Victoria.”
But Camilla’s incident raised awareness for future ship christening attendees, with actress Helen Mirren taking precautions when inducting P&O Cruises’ Ventura.
Mr Buchanan added: “Four months later, again in Southampton, Dame Helen Mirren officiated at the naming of P&O Cruises’ Ventura.
“To spare any blushes, the stagecraft called for the actress, who won an Oscar for her performance in the 2006…