Britannia Style

Britannia's Grand Staircase.

Grand staircase © Marc Millar

The Queen's personal taste in design can be seen on board Britannia. Other royal residences were handed down to her by previous Kings and Queens. Britannia was the one royal residence for which both The Queen and Prince Philip had final say in its design.

Built in Scotland

The Queen's father, King George VI commissioned Britannia on 4 February, 1952. When he sadly died just two days later, it became The Queen's duty to oversee this major project. Clydebank shipbuilders, John Brown & Co, created Britannia's distinctive smooth hull by carefully applying multiple layers of paint over a special foundation. The Queen and Prince Philip's inspiration for choosing Britannia's signature blue paint was inspired by one of their wedding gifts, the Racing Yacht Bluebottle.

1950s design

Walking on board Britannia, is like stepping back into the 1950s. Sir Hugh Casson was the designer of the Royal Apartments, having previously met Prince Philip when he worked as the Coordinating Architect for the Festival of Britain. Sir Hugh was originally invited to advise on the interior design after the initial plans from Glasgow-based firm, McInnes Gardner & Partners, were considered too lavish by The Queen and Prince Philip in this post-war period. His simple elegance has stood the test of time; the interior design was barely updated during her 44 years of service.

Original artefacts

Although the Royal Yacht has been decommissioned, the majority of items on board are original, kindly on loan to The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. Find out more about our Collections.

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