HM Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia 1953-2018
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Royal Yacht Britannia and the latest cover in our Maritime Series of commemorative stamp covers. This limited edition (just 264 produced) cover which features a stunning Yacht Britannia watercolour painting has proven particularly popular in pre-sale. If you still want to get your hands on a copy of this great collectable then sail on over to our website as numbers of these are very few and at just £10.95 it’s no surprise!
Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia is the former royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. She was constructed at the shipyard of John Brown & Co. Ltd in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire and launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953, just a few weeks before her coronation. She was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war, although this capability was never used and in the event of nuclear war, it was intended for Britannia to be used as a ‘floating bunker’. Britannia embarked on her maiden voyage in 1954 from Portsmouth to Grand Harbour, Malta, carrying young Princess Anne and Prince Charles to Malta in order for them to meet their parents in Tobruk at the end of the royal couple’s Commonwealth Tour. HMY Britannia was a floating palace, home to the Queen and her family for an annual summer cruise around the islands off the west coast of Scotland. Her Majesty has said in the past that Britannia was the one place she could truly relax.
Britannia is now a popular tourist attraction, with over 300,000 visitors a year, moored in the historic Port of Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland, and cared for by registered charity, the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. She is also one of the UK’s top events venues, hosting the 70th birthday of Ursula Andress in 2006 and a drinks reception for the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall, prior to their wedding in 2011. Among Britannia’s many attractions are a retired Rolls-Royce Phantom V state car, owned by the royal family in the 1960s. Another highlight is the Queen’s Bedroom – the only bedroom of a living monarch which can be viewed. Also on the tour are the State Dining and Drawing Rooms, which hosted grand receptions for kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers throughout the world.