Her Majesty aboard Britannia © Rex Images
The Royal Yacht Britannia proudly served the British Royal Family for over 44 years. This famous ship was the last of 83 Royal Yachts, a tradition which began in the 1660s. Britannia travelled over one million nautical miles on 968 State visits. She was a successful ambassador around the world and played a key role in major historic events.
As a floating royal residence, when Britannia hosted State functions, they had the same formality and grandeur as any of the Royal palaces. The Royal Apartments were an elegant setting to entertain world leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan and Rajiv Gandhi.
Royal Family off duty
As well as her formal role, Britannia allowed the Royal Family some privacy away from their public duties. The ship has played many roles, including a floating nursery for the Royal children, a Royal honeymoon venue and a retreat during the Royal Family's annual Western Isles tour of Scotland.
Because Britannia played such an important role in the public and private lives of the Royal Family for over four decades, it is no surprise that her decommissioning was a sad day for all.
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