Royal Yacht Britannia


HM Yacht Britannia was the 83rd Royal Yacht since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660 (Charles II himself had 25 Royal Yachts, while five were simultaneously in service in 1831).

Britannia was built at the shipyard of John Brown & Co. Ltd in Glasgow, Scotland, being launched by Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953 and commissioned on 11 January 1954. During her career as Royal Yacht (she was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war, though this facility was never used), she conveyed the Queen, other members of the Royal Family, and various dignitaries on 696 foreign visits and 272 visits in British waters.

Her last foreign mission was to convey the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, and Prince Charles, away from Hong Kong after the return of the British colony to the People's Republic of China on 30 June 1997. Britannia was decommissioned on 11 December 1997 and is now permanently moored as an exhibition ship at Leith harbour, near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Statistics

  • Gross Tonnage: 5769 tons.
  • Length: 412 feet (125 metres).
  • Height of masts above waterline: Foremast: 133 feet (40.5 metres). Mainmast: 139 feet (42m). Mizzenmast: 118 feet (36m). The top 6 metres of the two tallest masts were hinged to allow the ship to pass under bridges.
  • Maximum speed: 21.5 knots.
  • Range: ca. 2400 nautical miles.
  • During her career, Britannia steamed 1,087,623 nautical miles.
  • Crew (1997): 19 officers and 217 Royal Yachtsmen (plus Royal Marines band as required).

External link


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