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The Queen pretty in peach as she christens cruise ship Britannia

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A day after calling members of the Commonwealth "guardians of a precious flame", the Queen arrived in Southampton to officially name the latest P&O cruise ship, which will continue to help improve Commonwealth relations as it sails passengers around Europe, including France, Italy, and Spain. The 88-year-old Queen christened the ship Brittania with a bottle of British Wiston Estate Brut NV champagne which was smashed against the hull, before red, white, and blue confetti rained down on the guests.

queen © Photo: Rex

The Queen arrived in Southampton, the ship's home port, on Tuesday

Wearing a pretty peach winter coat with matching hat, the Queen looked in high spirits as she named the ship - the sixth she has named during her reign.

The Duke of Edinburgh sat by the Queen's side during the ceremony, and the two later were given a tour of the ship, which is now Britain's biggest cruise vessel, taking 3,600 passengers on holiday on each trip, and taller than the Shard in London.

Captain Paul Brown said: "It is my great honour after 33 years at sea to show the Queen around. I will be showing her the atrium and the bridge then heading down to the restaurant for lunch."

queen3 © Photo: Rex

Comedian Rob Brydon compered the ceremony, and the royal couple were later treated to performances from the Royal Marines Band Service, the Band of the Irish Guards and English soprano Laura Wright, as well as a Strictly Come Dancing cameo show.

The last time the Queen christened a ship was in 2014, where she named the Royal Navy's largest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth. Instead of smashing a traditional bottle of champagne, the Queen fittingly launched the Scotland-built warship with a bottle of Islay single malt whisky.

Prior to that, the Queen had not named a ship for 15 years.