Back in the day, the British royal family had access to the Royal Britannia, Her Majesty’s yacht. The yacht was used almost exclusively by the Windsors, but it was technically part of the Royal Navy, and the Navy maintained it. Meaning, the taxpayers funded the royal yacht which was used for royal joyriding, private travels, honeymoons, vacations and yes, some business as well. The Britannia was only decommissioned in 1997 after years of criticism and millions of pounds wasted on the unnecessary vessel. Well… now it looks like the Windsors are getting a new yacht. Named after Prince Philip, a Navy man.
A new royal yacht is to be commissioned by the government and named after Prince Philip, according to reports. It would be a successor to HMY Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997. The Duke of Edinburgh was Lord High Admiral from 2011 until his death earlier this year, and served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the new yacht will be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson “within weeks”. The cost of building the vessel could be as much as £200m, with MPs calling for the ship to be built in the UK.
Downing Street has not denied the reports, with a spokesperson saying: “The prime minister has an exciting vision for shipbuilding in this country and is committed to making the UK a shipbuilding superpower. We are always looking for new ways to promote global Britain around the world, driving investment back to the UK and delivering value for money for the British people.”
The yacht would be expected to sail across the world and be used to promote British trade and interests overseas – including by hosting meetings. Conservative MP Craig Mckinlay has campaigned for the new yacht. He said: “A new national flagship proudly bearing the name of Prince Philip can be no better memorial to this much-loved and respected man. I am delighted that the years of effort to prove to ministers the value of such a vessel to our country’s global brand is now on the brink of becoming reality. My latest joint letter signed by fellow MPs and peers may have helped get this project over the line. I am overjoyed.”
I don’t doubt that the Windsors would love to get a new yacht, and Philip was reportedly quite angry when the Britannia was decommissioned and nothing was given to them in its place. But! I kind of doubt that the Queen is even asking for this mess. It’s not like the poor widowed Queen is like “you know what would make me feel better? If the taxpayers bought me a £200 million yacht.” This is Boris Johnson pulling some kind of scheme, although who even knows at this point. Maybe Baldingham is the one really pushing for it. After years of pretending to be a top pilot (he was only a co-pilot because no one trusted him or thought he could do the job), he’s now keen to pretend to be some kind of Boat Guy. Anyway, this is a terrible idea from start to finish and it’s crazy that the British government suddenly has £200 million to spend on a new royal yacht! My God.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.