Royal Yacht Britannia Pressed Back into Service for Zara and Mike’s Wedding.

Posted on July 24, 2011


When Zara P hillips marries her footballer Mike Tindall in Cannongate Kirk next weekend, it just may be the anticlimax of the weekend.  The Royals will once again gather on the decommissioned Royal Yacht, Britannia, for a pre-wedding party.

When it docked in Philadelphia in 1776, SamHenry was there to watch the changing of the guard at the gangplank; the Royal garbage disembarking and to marvel at the high speed launches hanging where life boats should have been.  It was splendid to behold.   The Queen was in town to present a “liberty bell” to the city for it’s Bicentennial.

The city never looked better.  Not a blade of grass out of place.  Suddenly the Royal limousine rounded a corner at the docks with just Philip and the Queen in the back and we were “alone” with them for a flash.  I was so excited I was a picture of over-exuberance jumping  up and down, cameras flying everywhere and swathed in red, white and blue.  It gave Philip a chuckle.  The queen looked away at the spectacle.

To look at the interior today it looks, well, quite frumpy.  A billionaire Arab would buy it and gut it and make it gold and glass.  But this is the Royal yacht and the time period of the interior is locked firmly in the 1950s – the decade in which the Queen inherited the throne.

The state rooms are unremarkable – even the Queen’s own bedroom and/or the honeymoon suite.  The public rooms fare a bit better.  It is a massive space with a myriad of activities carried out within its hull.  There is a sick bay, crew quarters, boiler room – get the picture?

For SamHenry it is the structure of the old girl herself that shines such as the metalwork on the decks

But just for the record, there will be space enough for any amount of people who are piped board next weekend:

The State Drawing Room is not too shabby:

And of course there are all manner of places to dine…

or take tea….

Did I mention the launches….

Brittannia now rules the wharf at Edinburgh.  It is one of its most popular attractions.  It is reassuring to see the old girl looking so well and still considered “part of the family.”

And now a word about the Queen’s Jubilee yachtless year.  She has just been given the loan of a magnificent yacht.  Read all about it here.


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