"They were away from public gaze, they could actually be themselves. In the past the ship has sailed on the Queen’s annual Scotland tour of the Western Isles accompanied by members of the Royal Family with a stop over to visit the Queen Mother at Castle Mey. "It was used in all sorts of ways and PR things – they’d sail into the harbour somewhere and then the dignitaries would come aboard and they’d be hosted. In a rare show of emotion, Her Majesty was spotted shedding a tear for the first and only time in public as she attended the official decommissioning ceremony in Portsmouth in 1997. When was the HMY Britannia decommissioned, has also been used by the Queen and the Royal Family during private times. We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Queen Elizabeth II was forced to accept the decision to have the royal yacht Britannia decommissioned after 44 years due to the extensive cost the Government would have faced to refit it. The Britannia has been docked in Edinburgh since 1997 and has since been transformed into a museum. The Britannia marked the end of the long tradition of British Royal Yachts used by the monarch dating back to King Charles II in 1660, to date there have been 83 Royal Yachts. Several world leaders, including British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Ronald Reagan, would come to be hosted on the Britannia through its 44 years in service. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. The Britannia Visitor Center is located in the Ocean Terminal, about two miles from Edinburgh. Throughout the 44 years that Britannia was in service it has been used for many State Tours visiting 600 ports in 135 countries logging over one million nautical miles (shown below is a photo of the Britannia in Sydney Harbor, Australia). Finally, on October 20, 1997 the Britannia embarked on one last voyage around England, as the ship sailed passed the John Brown’s Shipyard it gave a blast as a tribute to the place where she was built. It was particularly dear to the Queen’s heart, they would sail around the UK or sail to Scotland in the summer. newspaper archive. Since it was also a royal residence, the Queen has entertained numerous world leaders, such as Winston Churchill, Rajiv Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Ronald Reagan. (Shown below are two photos of the Queen and the Royal Family, the left shows a rare photo of the Queen wearing pants was taken in 1985 and on the right in 1997). By the 1950s, the Victoria & Albert III had become outdated and King George VI had made the request to Parliament for a more modern ship that could be used for Royal Tours, it would also serve as a type of floating royal residence. Once deemed an official Royal residence it has been used for state visits and official receptions, in addition it has been used for Royal family holidays and for the honeymoons of several Royal couples. "But by the time a royal yacht would be built, I don’t think the Queen would be around to enjoy it. In the past the ship has sailed on the Queen’s annual Scotland tour of the Western Isles accompanied by members of the Royal Family with a stop over to visit the Queen Mother at Castle Mey. Ms Myskow continued: "There’s wonderful footage of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh with the royals when they were young, really loving being on the Britannia because they were safe. The Queen famously shed a tear when the boat, which was valued at around £60million, was taken out of service in 1997. Britannia was formally decommissioned in a ceremony on December 11 1997 which was attended by the Queen and members of the Royal Family. order back issues and use the historic Daily Express We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Royal treat: Queen posts adorable video on Instagram, The key way Zara Tindall could show Queen support this Christmas. The ship has also been used for the honeymoons by four Royal Couples; Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong Jones in 1960, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 (as shown in the photo below) and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in 1986. The letter, discovered in the National Archives by University of London professor Phillip Murphy and dated May 5, 1995, read: “I have deliberately taken a back seat in recent correspondence, since the question of whether there should be a replacement yacht is very much one for the Government and since the last thing I would like to see is a newspaper headline saying “Queen Demands New Yacht. Afterwards, the funnel and masts were installed and her sea trials were started in November 1953 and upon their completion the ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy in January 1954, it was the only ship in the world whose Captain was traditionally an Admiral. Honorary Vice-Admiral Sir Donald Gosling, a dear friend of the Royal Family, was revealed this week to have bequeathed £50 million to the Queen for her to build a new yacht for the family. Writer Nina Myskow claimed the decision to get rid of the Britannia delivered a "big, personal blow" to the Queen because of the role the yacht played in her family life. The Royal Yacht Britannia was used by Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family for over 44 years. For more visitor information regarding hours of operation and admission prices, please click on the link to the Britannia website at www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk. JUST IN: Queen’s secret Christmas weapon to rebuild Royal Family image after chaotic 2019. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. asks ADAM HELLIKER, 'Meghan Markle BRITANNIA' Duchess of Sussex to promote Brexit Britain, Royal news: the Queen tearfully lobbied for a new Britannia replacement in secret, Royal news: The 412 foot royal yacht Britannia, launched by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Britannia could rule the waves again after Brexit, Prince Charles’ fury at Tony Blair for SCRAPPING Royal Yacht Britannia, Royal news: The Queen and Prince Philip held HMY Britannia close to their hearts, Royal news: Sir Kenneth Scott wrote a letter to the Cabinet office asking for a replacement yacht, Queen Elizabeth news: Royal's request for Britannia captain revealed, Queen Elizabeth news: Unseen colour footage of royal after death. See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, The Britannia is now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh, Scotland and in this post I will give a brief tour of the ship. In 2017, 50 Tory MP’s signed an open letter proposing a special national lottery to raise around £120 million for a new yacht as a “symbol of Global Britain” after the UK leaves the EU in 2019. The royal yacht – the jewel in the Queen’s beloved fleet – was decommissioned in 1997, with then Prime Minister John Major announcing it would be retired from service in 1995. Listed below are several highlights of a tour of the Britannia’s staterooms, crew’s quarters and the engine room: Post was not sent - check your email addresses!