Scottish Diary | 23 May 2017

When we were living in London last year, everything was somehow connected with the Royal family. In Scotland, we didn’t get that feeling until the eleventh day when we went to visit The Royal Yacht Britannia (OK, and a bit on the visit of Balmoral Castle).

Britannia was the last of 83 Royal Yachts, a tradition which began in the 1660s. The Yacht proudly served the British Royal Family for over 44 years. There was a lot of speculation about the name until 16 April 1953 when Her Majesty The Queen launched the yacht with words: “I name this ship BRITANNIA, I wish success to her and to all who sail in her”.

The Yacht’s role was to be Royal residence on the sea, a floating nursery for royal children, it hosted State functions, and in wartime, it could serve as a hospital ship. A very special section of Britannia are the Royal Apartments. The Queen’s and Prince Philip’s bedrooms are separated but linked by interconnecting door. The Honeymoon Suite was used for four Royal honeymoons and it contains the only king size bed on the deck.


1. Royal children had their chores to do on Britannia, including cleaning life rafts.
2. Five tons of luggage, including famous bottles of Malvern water for Her Majesty’s tea, and a Rolls Royce, were brought on board when Queen went sailing.

3. Up to 45 members of the Royal Household came on board with the Queen.

4. Any work near the Royal Apartments had to be completed by 8.00 AM to preserve royal tranquillity.

5. Gym shoes were always worn by Royal Yachtsmen to help preserve silence.

6. When Her Majesty finally bid farewell to a ship, The Queen publicly shed a tear, one of the very few occassions in her public appearances.

Main deck
The Wheelhouse
The Queen's bedroom
The Queen's bedroom
Prince Philip's bedroom
The Honeymoon Suite
Rolls Royce "garage"
Staircase in Royal Apartments
State drawing room
Bloodhound sailing yacht owned by The Royal Family in the past
State dining room
Royal galley
Crew bedroom
Crew bathroom
Medical department
Engine room