A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the naming ceremony for the RRS Sir David Attenborough

Published 26 September 2019

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is a testament to the cutting-edge science and engineering expertise right here on Merseyside.

The Duke of Cambridge

Thank you John and thank you to everyone for braving the weather and coming here today.

We are of course here 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!

I’m referring to the hugely impressive ship behind us, named in your honour, that Catherine and I have just had the pleasure of looking around.

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is a testament to the cutting-edge science and engineering expertise right here on Merseyside.

It is also a testament to the UK’s world-leading role on polar research.

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.

As last week’s climate protests the world over, and yesterday’s report on our oceans and frozen regions demonstrated, there has never been a more important moment for this ship to get to work.

And there is no person more fitting for this beacon of scientific research to be named after than you, David.

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, to speak.