The Royal Yacht

June 19, 2010


It’s our last day in Edinburgh and we struck out on our own with an Australian couple we met to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia. It was decommissioned in 1997 after some 44 years of service to the Royal Family and is now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh. The visit was one of the highlights of our trip.

The Royal Family has always fascinated me. They live a life we can only imagine; it’s somewhat anachronistic, but still fascinating.

The yacht was really lovely and in many ways, very homey. Although it took quite a force of marines to make it all happen.

Here’s the queen’s bedroom. Notice the single bed. She wanted to make use of bed linens from Queen Victoria’s time, we were told, although why that would be I don’t know.

The Duke had a matching room next door, although more masculine.

Lest you think a bigger bed wouldn’t fit, here’s the “honeymoon suite,” with a bigger bed.

The Queen also had an office on board.

And the family had some gorgeous sitting and drawing rooms. The Queen cried at the decommissioning and once said she was most relaxed on the yacht. I can see why. Her life here more closely approximated “normal.”


But then, “normal” is relative. I loved the “bat-phone.” Note that the Press Secretary has his/her own button.

And the yacht had its own rather dated operating theatre and sick bay. Although I doubt the Queen would ever have surgery here. Here’s the scarily old OR:

And of course, the royal car had to fit on board.

As well as the royal barge:

It took a lot of sailors to run the yacht. Here’s a view of how they lived (depending on their rank.) The shamrock is on a locker.





As top guy, the Admiral had a real bathtub and better quarters.

It was really fun to step into the life of a royal, if only in my imagination.

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