A Day in The Life

A day on Britannia for Queen Elizabeth II 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.


Queen Elizabeth II is woken by her personal maid with morning tea, which has milk and no sugar. The maid fills a bath and checks the temperature with a thermometer.


Breakfast is taken in the Sun Lounge, Queen Elizabeth II's favourite room on the ship.


Work starts in her Sitting Room with her Private Secretary. Boxes of official documents arrive daily from various government departments.


Coffee break and a chance 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.


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


The afternoon is spent 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.


A discussion with Queen Elizabeth II's Dresser to discuss jewellery and dress requirements for that evening.


Queen Elizabeth II dresses for dinner in her bedroom.


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


Dinner is served in the State Dining Room. Queen Elizabeth II 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 were fully aware of the correct etiquette.


The Royal Family retires to the Drawing Room for coffee, liqueurs and Queen Elizabeth II'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 or someone might play a tune on the piano, as Princess Diana often did.


Queen Elizabeth II retires to bed. As is Royal custom, no one goes to bed until the monarch retires. It was sometimes the case that work would continue on urgent documents in her cabin late into the night.