Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Royal Yacht Britannia on Leith, Scotland

This is the final post for the wonderful Cosmos tour of 'The Highlights of Ireland and Scotland" my husband and I, along with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law attended in October 2023. Thank you for following along as I posted all my photos and memories. 
On our last day in Edinburgh, Scotland, we had the opportunity to go on an optional excursion to the port area of Edinburgh called Leith, to visit the late Queen Elizabeth II's pride and joy:  The Royal Yacht of Britannia which was decommissioned from service in 1997.

We stepped into the entrance to see the Royal Yacht, that was located in a shopping mall next to the harbor.  We soon found ourselves surrounded by an informational museum dedicated to the yacht, a charming gift shop, and a pathway leading to the ramp structure that would take us to the yacht. This beautifully detailed model of the Royal Yacht was prominently displayed at the entrance, offering a preview of the grandeur that awaited us.

 Please double-click on this photo. and any other image or collage in this post, to enlarge it for a better view.   This schematic shows the different levels and rooms within the yacht.

There were many placards inside the museum with the History of the Royal Yacht, also known as the H. M.Y. Britannia, 

For 44 years of service, the Royal Yacht traveled more than a million nautical miles~

The ship was built by John Brown & Co. at the same shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland, where the famous ocean liners the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary were constructed. With 12,000 horsepower, the ship could travel at a maximum of 22.5 knots (approximately 25 miles per hour), ideal for ocean-going diplomacy. Before its launch in 1953, the royal family used ships from the Royal Navy or even passenger liners for the overseas portions of the royal tour.

In all her glamour and old-world elegance, the yacht served as a residence that welcomed state visits worldwide and entertained family holidays alike.

“Britannia is special for several reasons,” Prince Phillip once said. “Almost every previous sovereign has been responsible for building a church, a castle, a palace or just a house. The only comparable structure in the present reign is Britannia. As such, she is a splendid example of contemporary British design and technology.”

There were many wonderful family photos in the museum.

Our first glimpse from a window in the museum of the Royal Yacht in the Leith Harbor,

Soon, we stepped abroad the yacht.

The first rooms we saw made me realize that the decor was very "mid-century modern" and very functional and unassuming design,

The rooms were viewed behind plexiglass--this was the Queen's bedroom.

This was Prince Philip's bedroom.

The formal dining room, kitchen, and pantry...

Examples of the Royal China dishes.

The Queen's office

The formal living room

The crew quarters varied in design according to rank and they had multiple lounges

The yacht's Naval crew included 220 Yachtsmen, 20 officers, three season officers, and a Royal Marines Band of 26 men during Royal Tours.

There was a full surgical suite, a sick bay area, a laundry, and a post office.

Tucked into many corners of the yacht were displays of royal treasures and nostalgic photos

The sun was setting and we would soon have to meet our tour bus.

My husband and I had a few minutes of fun posing with the displays outside the yacht. We enjoyed our visit to the Royal Yacht very much!

In 1997, the ship was decommissioned after the government decided the costs to refit it would be too great. On its final day in her service that followed a farewell tour around the U.K., the queen openly wept as the Band of HM Royal Marines played "Highland Cathedral."
We learned a trivia that all of the clocks on board remain stopped at 3:01, the exact time that Her Majesty disembarked for the last time.

The ship is now owned by Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, and all revenue it generates from tours and special events goes to the yacht’s maintenance and preservation.

Our last views of Scotland from the airplane!

It was a very wonderful and memorable trip and I look forward to our next adventure.

It's hard to believe that June's just a week away! I have a lot of gardening to catch up on now that our weather is nice, so I'll be on a short blog break. I'll see you all back here very soon.

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eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat,
Wonderful photos from your tour of the royal yacht. The days and months are flying by. Enjoy your break, happy gardening. Take care, have a great week!

Lowcarb team member said...

I have enjoyed your posts about your wonderful trip to Scotland.
The sights you've seen and the memories you have must be so special.

Goodness me! It doesn't seem possible that it was in 1997 when the yacht was decommissioned ... how time flies!

Enjoy this last week of May and your short blogging break.
Look forward to 'seeing you' again soon.

All the best Jan

Life Images by Jill, West Australia said...

what an interesting visit to tour the Yacht and a glimpse into Royal life on board. I think I would have enjoyed that too. Enjoy your week. I am joining you at Mosaic Monday.

Joanne said...

You all really had such a wonderful trip! I loved seeing these photos of the royal yacht.

stevebethere said...

What an anzing post Pat very interesting thanks for sharing along with the info

Have a scottishtastic week 👍

ellen b. said...

A nice end to your wonderful tour. Hope you can get your garden in order soon! We have so much weeding to get to!!

Lorrie said...

Such a wonderful glimpse into life on the Britannia. So much history there. Your trip has been so interesting to follow.

NCSue said...

Wow! Quite elegant - lovely ship.
Thanks so much for sharing at

Lydia C. Lee said...

THat's an interesting exhibition - what an insight into 'another world'! #MCoW

EricaSta said...

This is indeed another world for me... and a look back in history. I like it!

Another round of MosaicMonday in May... and I'm looking forward to your contribution again. More pictures this week that tell the story of your surroundings, of nature, of your everyday life. Pictures that also tell a bit of history, it`s important.

Thank you for your participation. Have a good time, hugs by Heidrun

Jocelyn said...

Great glimpse of history.

Jim said...

Great sky shot.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What an amazing tour. So much wonderful history! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Michelle said...

I have enjoyed your series about Scotland. Hoping to go there next year on a family trip. I cannot imagine having this at my disposal. What a wonderful vessel. Thank you for linking up!