Duchess Kate makes last solo appearance before baby's arrival

Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge smiles at Captain Tony Draper during a naming ceremony for the 'Royal Princess' cruise ship in Southampton, E...
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)Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

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By Eun Kyung Kim
The Duchess of Cambridge officially names the Royal Princess with a traditional blessing involving smashing a bottle over the ship's hull in what is expected to her final solo engagement before the birth of her and Prince William's child. BEN STANSALL / Today

Now you see her, but soon you won’t.

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, christened a new cruise ship Thursday in her last solo appearance before the birth of her first child. She's due next month.

The Duchess of Cambridge names the Royal Princess with the traditional smashing of the champagne bottle.Chris Jackson / Today

“I name this ship ‘Royal Princess,’” the duchess said after helping to smash a Champagne bottle on the cruise’s hull. “May God bless her and all who sail in her.”

The duchess' ship-naming ceremony followed royal tradition: Her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, named the ship’s predecessor nearly three decades ago.

The duchess wore a black-and-white animal print Hobbs coat dress to the ship naming.Chris Jackson / Today

Clad in a Dalmatian-print Hobbs coat dress, Kate is just weeks away from her mid-July due date. She is expected to make her final public engagement at the annual “Trooping the Colour” celebration this weekend.

The duchess arrives for a Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony to officially name the new Royal Princess cruise liner.Chris Jackson / Today

She will then take time off to prepare for her baby’s arrival. Palace officials would not reveal how long of a break the duchess, or her husband, Prince William, will take from official royal duties once the baby is born.