A tough break

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DEC. 13 — Camilla Parker Bowles, England’s Duchess of Cornwall, with her husband, Prince Charles, standing by in Southampton, England, on Monday was given the task of breaking a champagne bottle on the $600 million, 90,000-ton ocean liner Queen Victoria, christening her maiden voyage, according to the United Press International.

However, things didn’t go as planned.

The champagne bottle was rigged to a contraption that was supposed to swing it into the side of the ship when Camilla hit the button. Instead it halted, made a grinding noise, and then dropped the bottle so it hit the hull and remained intact, according to the report.

As the crowd reportedly groaned and the staff swore, a man appeared on the deck of the ship with another bottle and smashed it over the side. While the festivities recommenced, some wondered if the old legend of bad luck with the unbroken bottle would follow the Victoria, the second-largest ship Cunard has ever built, according to Cruisemates.com.

The port chaplain Rev. Andrew Huckett was optimistic, but remembered when the bottle didn’t break during the christening of Aurora before her maiden voyage on May 1, 2000. She never finished the trip due to mechanical failure, three years later her passengers got a virus, and in 2005, her engines failed, according to the report.

— Elizabeth Ellis