The royal got a bit of a soaking when she christened the yacht in the traditional way
Photo: Rex
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13 SEPTEMBER 2005

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When Keira Knightley stepped aboard the Black Pearl in the 2003 blockbuster Pirates Of The Caribbean, it was because she had been kidnapped by the evil Captain Barbossa and his band of seafaring miscreants.

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There were no screams of protest from Lady Gabriella Windsor as she boarded its modern namesake on Monday afternoon, though. It was easy to understand why she was smiling, as the welcome she received, from a group of chivalrous sailors instead of a gang of desperate outlaws, made for a rather more agreeable experience.

Princess Michael's daughter had gone along to christen the new Black Pearl, a racing yacht being sponsored by Disney, in Southampton. The boat is rather more speedy affair than the big screen original, as its state-of-the-art design ensures it cuts through the waves a great deal faster than the buccaneers' ship which played host to Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in the hit movie.

Gabriella soon found out that even with the most honourable of crews taking to the high seas can still be a risky business. The 24-year-old got something of a soaking when she smashed a champagne bottle against the bow of the vessel and bubbly splashed all over her legs and feet.

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