Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Royal Yacht Britannia

All aboard me mateys! Before we set sail you might want to bob over to my weight loss page for the latest news.

Our visit to the RYB was really interesting and if you ever find yourself in Edinburgh with a few hours to spare it's definitely worth a look.

We'd pre-booked our tickets, £40 for the family, which meant no queueing, just straight to the lady giving our these walkie talkies that told you about each area on board, and we were off.

Here's Thomas sat in the Captain's seat. It was a good job the Captain wasn't around as he was the only one allowed to sit there, so Thomas would have been walking the plank.
And here he is ringing the Ship's Bell.
This is the verandah deck where the Royal Family would sunbathe. After scrubbing it down every morning, the crew would inflate a swimming pool for them if so desired.
 The doorways from the deck lead to this sunroom where Queenie would retire and take a tipple of G&T from the drinks cabinet on the left.
 And just a little way down the corridor was her bedroom - not far to stumble should one become a little tipsy - hardly likely I expect. It was quite spartan actually and the material used for the quilt was the original material Queen Victoria had on her bed. 
 At the end of the room is an adjoining door leading to Prince Philip's room which is equally as plain, in fact more so, because he stipulated absolutely no frills on the pillow cases.
 Across the corridor is the bedroom where Charles and Di....... well you don't need me to tell you how things go on a wedding night do you!
 Amy walking the deck. The Yacht is accessed from a lovely shopping centre called Ocean Terminal. It's a really good idea actually. You walk into a 'shop', buy your ticket, then cross the gangway and you're on the Yacht.
Just below the Royal Deck is the officers lounge where they could relax and have a drink. Actually there were a fair few bars dotted around in various rooms.
 From the lounge the Officers would walk through to their dining room which although impressive wasn't a patch on .....
 .... the state banquet room. Leaders from all over the world have been entertained in this room and at the end of the evening they would be given the menu card as a souvenir.
The state drawing room was lovely. It was twice as big as this but I wanted a close up picture and even though it was a fair size had a lovely cosy feel about it. When not being used for entertaining the family would play board games in here, play the baby grand piano and listen to the radio. 
 Below deck there was a bar for the lower ranks where our very own Cap'n Thomas stopped off for a quick pint.
 And although Her Maj's bedroom wasn't overly opulent she certainly fared better than the crew on board. Not only are the beds narrow but they're short as well. There's no way you could stretch out on one of these. Living space was very cramped.
The crew were obviously expected to look spick and span at all times so the laundry room as well used. They were charged 22p per item to have their clothes laundered.
The operating theatre was a bit of a shock. You'd certainly pray you didn't need surgery whilst on board. I don't think it's been updated since the 1950's. HRH always took her personal physician with her but regardless of rank you can only work with what you've got can't you and there didn't seem much of anything really.
 Here's Thomas with his bag of crunch fudge bought from the NAAFI on our way out. Sometimes the Royal Children were allowed to visit the shop and buy sweets.
 And our final stop was the tea room. Earl Grey for the adults, iced tea for Amy and water for Thomas, plus 2 huge pieces of chocolate cake for the men.
There were actually loads of photos I could have taken of different areas, living quarters, engine rooms, all the silverware, gifts given to Her Majesty etc. etc. but halfway round not only was I holding the camera, but 2 radio's, Thomas' jacket, tickets and leaflets so I gave up.

I can thoroughly recommend a visit and it's definitely somewhere I would go back to again so that I could walk around at a more leisurely pace.

It is said our lovely Queen cried at the decommissioning ceremony in 1997 and I can certainly understand why. As well as being full of memories it really is a beautiful yacht and I'm sure I would shed a tear or two if I had to give it up.



  1. Thanks for a lovely tour. Britannia docked here when the Queen visited during the 70s. We tried to get a glimpse but there were so many others there trying to do the same we only spotted a lot of meringues bobbing about (which turned out to be the hats of the band of the Royal Marines!).

    1. Now if they'd had a band of Royal Marines playing while we 'took morning coffee' that would have been the icing on the cake. It was really interesting. Unfortunately, I never get to stand still for too long to take much in as Thomas is like Jack Flash and onto the next thing. xx

  2. thank you for the tour! I had no idea you could go and have a peek around Britannia, so this was a real treat.

    Also enjoyed your previous post. You are one busy lady! My daughter Violet is 8, and she seems to have a never ending stash of toys, not only in her room, but in the garage too.
    This week I've pledged to spend a couple of hours a day in the garage, going through EVERYTHING, and chucking out a lot. Mind you, before I moan about her being a hoarder, I need to look at myself. I seem to have an obsession for keeping old champagne bottles (why? I do nothing with them) and millions of jam jars and other little jars that I know I would have said 'ooh, I'll keep that for a vase'. I also have a bit of a stash of vases!!! No wonder Violet has issues with getting rid of stuff.

    Luckily I'm a heartless old bat deep down, so am actually enjoying just getting rid of all the junk. It's quite therapeutic.

    Have a corking evening ;o)

    1. Our friends used to keep corks from their champagne bottles, they had a bowl full of them! I used to think Why? but my first thought was actually - ooohhh all that champagne they've drunk - lucky things. I can hoard for a while but deep down I'm a minimalistic kinda girl - inherited from Mum. Good luck with the garage clear out, it's too easy to open a door and chuck stuff in out of sight isn't it? Amy is 15 and will not for love nor money part with her collection of my little ponies and the house, slide, teapot etc that go with them - but don't tell her I've told you! xx