Cunard stage set up on Pier Head for free Queen Anne event with Andrea Bocelli performance

The Cunard stage is set up on the waterfront for the official naming of Queen Anne
-Credit: (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)


Preparations are underway at Liverpool's Pier Head for the naming ceremony for Cunard's newest ship.

Having recently taken her maiden voyage, Cunard's new liner Queen Anne will arrive in Liverpool on June 3 for the naming ceremony - a moment that is signified by the traditional smashing of a bottle of Champagne against the ship. It was announced last Wednesday (May 22) that legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform at the ceremony on the Pier Head, as part of a day of celebrations.

Photographs taken by the ECHO on Tuesday (May 28) showed a stage being set up on the Pier Head for the event. Complete with Cunard branding, the stage and standing area is located to the left of the Three Graces as you look towards the city from the River Mersey.

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The event is being hosted on the banks of the Mersey because Cunard’s transatlantic service – and passenger shipping itself – was launched in Liverpool in 1840. The company's ships have previously attracted more than a million spectators to the region, first for the maiden call of the QE2 in July 1990, and in 2015 for the Three Queens ‘royal rendezvous’ in front of the Cunard Building, which celebrated the 175th anniversary of the cruise line.

June 3's naming ceremony and Mr Bocelli's performance are part of a free afternoon and evening of celebrations, which will be brought to a close by a firework display as Queen Anne sails away from the city. Hosted by former Busted musician Matt Willis and his wife Emma, the event is free and will run until 10.30pm.

The Cunard stage is set up on the waterfront for the official naming of Queen Anne
The Cunard stage is set up on the waterfront for the official naming of Queen Anne -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

There will also be performances from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and local DJ Lauren Lo Sung. The naming ceremony will see the tradition of a smashing of a Champagne bottle against the ship.

Katie McAlister, president of Cunard, said: "Liverpool is known the world over as Cunard’s spiritual home, and we are thrilled to announce Maestro Bocelli as part of our incredible line-up of talented artists and performers for this special event. This celebration is a tribute to our rich history and a testament to the enduring bond between Cunard and the city of Liverpool.

"We look forward to honouring this legacy with a celebration of unforgettable performances that reflect the spirit and vibrancy of both our company and this magnificent city."

Mr Bocelli added: "It’s an honour to be performing in Liverpool, for the official naming ceremony of Queen Anne. This event promises to be a beautiful celebration of artistry and craftsmanship, which perfectly captures the spirit and elegance of Cunard’s new ship.

"To be taking part in such a historic occasion, in a city rich in cultural heritage, truly brings me great joy."

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