A day in the life

Her Majesty waving at Concorde

Royal Flypast by Concorde off Barbados, 1977

Her Majesty's day on Britannia would vary greatly, depending on whether she was on an official state visit or merely travelling from one destination to another. Although no two days were ever the same, this would represent a typical day on board.


Her Majesty The Queen is woken by her personal maid with morning tea, which has milk and no sugar. The maid fills The Queen's bath and checks temperature with thermometer.


The Queen takes breakfast in the Sun Lounge.


The Queen starts work in her Sitting Room with her Private Secretary. Boxes of official documents arrive daily from various Government departments.


Coffee break and a chance for The Queen to view the chart in the Sun Lounge showing Britannia's position and distance travelled overnight.


Back to work on the official papers until lunchtime.


The Queen and members of the Royal Family gather in the State Dining Room for a buffet lunch.


The Queen spends the afternoon working on private correspondence.


Afternoon tea is taken in the Sun Lounge. It would often be wafer-thin cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, pastries and cakes, served with tea in the finest bone china cups.


Her Majesty meets with her Dresser to discuss jewellery and dress requirements for that evening.


The Queen dresses for dinner in her bedroom.


The Royal Family gathers for drinks in the Anteroom. They are joined by the Admiral of the Yacht and senior members of the Royal Household before moving through to the State Dining Room.


Dinner is served. The Queen sits on the port side of the dining table and uses a small bell to signal when a course has to be cleared away. Younger Royal children would eat separately until they are fully aware of the correct protocol.


The Royal Family retire to the Drawing Room for coffee, liqueurs and The Queen's favourite chocolate mints. The rest of the evening may be spent playing cards, doing jigsaw puzzles or just enjoying conversation. Sometimes a film would be shown in the Dining Room.


The Queen retires to bed and everybody follows suit. As is Royal custom, no one goes to bed until Her Majesty retires. It was sometimes the case that Her Majesty would work on urgent documents in her cabin late into the night.

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