Britannia is owned and cared for by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. Britannia is part of the Core Collection of the National Register of Historic Vessels, the official register of the most important British ships in existence.
As befits its charitable objectives, the Trust's principal activity is to encourage as many people as possible to visit Britannia, in order to learn more about this iconic vessel and the ambassadorial role she undertook throughout the world. Since opening to the public on 20 October 1998, Britannia normally attracts between 350,000 and 400,000 visitors per annum, usually making it one of Scotland's top 10 paid admission visitor attractions. Since first joining our national tourist board's quality assurance scheme, VisitScotland has graded us in the 5 Star 'World Class' category. In addition, for each of the last 12 years, Britannia received the highest quality mark awarded that year by VisitScotland, making it Scotland's Best Visitor Attraction.
Last in a line of 83 Royal yachts, Britannia is the only one to survive, as the custom previously was for the Royal Yachts to be scuttled. Owned and cared for by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust (registered charity SC028070), all surplus funds from ticket sales, the Gift Shop and the Royal Deck Tea Room are reinvested in preserving the Royal Yacht for the future.
As a successful charitable trust, we are very fortunate to be able to generate all the funds that are required for maintaining Britannia, without the need for any subsidy or assistance from the public sector - this is very unusual for an historic ship. Any surplus funds accrued are reinvested in the visitor experience. The Trust has a wholly owned trading subsidiary, Royal Yacht Enterprises Ltd (registered in Scotland No.185472), which undertakes its trading activities, primarily the retail and catering operations associated with visiting Britannia, as well as hosting evening events and private tours.
Over successive years, we are delighted to have been gifted several yachts to add to the ‘fleet’, kindly on loan from the Royal Collection. In 2010, we took delivery of HRH Prince Philip’s former Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, which is now berthed alongside Britannia. Visitors can also view The Duke of Edinburgh’s Flying Fifteen keelboat, Coweslip, designed by the legendary Uffa Fox, presented to HM The Queen and Prince Philip as a wedding present in 1949. Following an eighteen-month restoration by David Heritage Racing Yachts, International Dragon class yacht Bluebottle has joined Bloodhound and Coweslip at Britannia. Built in 1947, Bluebottle was gifted by the Island Sailing Club of Cowes, Isle of Wight, as a wedding present for The Queen and Prince Philip.
A vessel that has been at the centre of Royal events on the Thames for over 40 years, the Royal Nore, was also gifted to the Trust by the Port of London Authority (PLA) in 2016 and is currently being renovated by Britannia’s Maintenance team. In an exciting new development by Royal Yacht Enterprises, the former Northern Lighthouse Board ship, Fingal, has undergone a £5 million conversion into a luxurious 23-bedroom floating hotel and events venue, berthed close to Britannia. The ship provides the ultimate in luxury, offering a range of cabins with private balconies, including duplex apartments and suites.
One of the Trust's proudest moments was on 3 June 2012 when Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, stepped back aboard Britannia's Royal Barge, escorted by both of Britannia's fast motor launches at the start of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
All contact with the Trust should be addressed to:
The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust
Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ
However, for company law and charity best practice reasons, please also see below the address of our Registered Office:
The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust
Princes Exchange, 1 Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh EH3 9EE
Company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. 185443
VAT No. GB 717 0276 48
Registered Scottish Charity No. SC028070