Where is the former Royal Yacht Britannia moored? Where was it built and can I visit it?
The Queen celebrated her platinum jubilee this weekend. The monarch has been on the throne since 1952 and parties and other events have been held to mark the occasion.
Some things are synonymous with the Queen – including her homes at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Sandringham. Other famous royal possessions include her hats, her handbag and of course the Corgis.
There is one famous royal item that did not appear as part of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the capital. However, for many years he was strongly associated with the Queen.
Read more: The only two kings to have reigned longer than Queen Elizabeth II
We are of course talking about Her Majesty’s yacht Britannia. Otherwise simply known as “The Royal Yacht”.
The ship carried members of the royal family around the world from 1954 to 1997. And in those 43 years, it is said to have traveled more than a million nautical miles.
Was it the first royal yacht? And will it be the last?
No. There were royal yachts long before Britannia – which was built at Clydebank in Dunbartonshire. It was the 83rd royal yacht since King Charles II took the throne in 1660 and restored the English monarchy.
It wasn’t even the first royal yacht called Britannia. A former royal yacht called Britannia built for the future King Edward VII in 1893.
Although Britain has been without a royal yacht for a quarter of a century now, there are plans for a new royal vessel. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously discussed plans for a ‘new national flagship’ in the next few years which would potentially fill a similar role.
What happened to the Britannia and where is it moored now?
The Britannia carried out its last mission in 1997 when it brought the Prince of Wales and Hong Kong’s last governor back to the UK after the territory was handed over to the People’s Republic of China. The Queen, who rarely shows emotion in public, reportedly lost a level on the dismantling of the yacht.
The Britannia is now born in the port of Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland. The moored ship is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Scotland’s capital – who can tour the Queen’s Bedroom and the garage on board the yacht, among other features.