The Royal Yacht Britannia

Lifebelt BrittaniaRYB

The Royal Yacht Britannia was in the service of the Royal Family for over forty years between 1954 and 1997, sailing more than one million nautical miles. Although not an ardent royalist, I’d expected to enjoy seeing it, but nothing had prepared me for just how much. Without a doubt, this was the highlight of the Edinburgh trip for me.  The yacht was larger than I’d imagined and over its five decks it reflects the family’s time spent on it as a ‘get-away’from-it-all’ place of relaxation.

From the humble quarters of the staff to the more ‘queenly’, though surprisingly uderstated private rooms, from the dining room where heads of state were entertained to the on-board Rolls Royce (yes, really),  there is so much to see.  Almost everything is an original item from the days spent onboard by the Royal Family.

The Queen and Prince Philip’s bedrooms

All the beds, with just one exception, on the RYB are single size. When Prince Charles and Diana honeymooned aboard for a two week Mediterranean cruise, the Prince ordered a double to be brought aboard.  Whilst not lavish, the yacht’s crew members would have no doubt looked on enviously at the comfort that these rooms offered for their own quarters were cramped and spartan to say the least. Six bunks in a windowless cabin the size of my bathroom!

Crews quarters 1

The family sitting room was my favourite room. Apparently the Queen asked for an open fire but it was considered not to be safe so she had to put up with an electric one.


Less formal is the sun room overlooking the deck where the family would play deck games.

Sun Room

Though there are smaller dining rooms, below is the one where the Queen entertained her VIPs.  It is possible to book the RYB for a private event and there are numerous packages on offer but should I be surprised that no prices are quoted?  I had been thinking about a tepee in the garden of a nearby pub for my 65th birthday in a few years time but maybe I’ll  reconsider! Can’t cost more than a few thousand (tens of perhaps) can it?!

State Dining Room

Most surprising is the aforementioned Rolls Royce ( the reflection is because it is behind glass). I suppose HRH couldn’t be expected to use the local buses!

Rolls Royce

Our last stop was for coffee  and scones in the welcoming Royal Deck Tea Room. Don’t you just love the cappuccino!




    • Indeed. I would describe it as ‘comfortable’ but nothing special! Apart from the state dining room. The tables looked exquisite.


  1. You enjoyed some beautiful weather for your trip. I’ve loved seeing your photographs and would be more than happy to see some more. 😆 The Royal Yacht is something I’ve been meaning to visit for a while now. Not sure it would be Lily’s thing though. X


    • Thank you. Jules. I think that Lily would be a bit young to appreciate it, apart from cake in the tea room, perhaps!


  2. It”s a lovely City to visit for a few days. We went to Royal Yacht too as well as many other places. They are all very interesting. Glad you are having a good time. X


    • Thanks Wendy. We had a fab time. So much more that we didn’t get to see. We should have stayed longer!


  3. Oh, what a lovely tour of the Royal Yacht! I had read that it served as a hospital ship during WWII. Thank you for sharing your pictures with us.


  4. This is a fascinating place to visit with all the history attached to this special ship. Thank you for sharing the photos, too. The Queen Mary (Cunard) has been permanently docked in Long Beach, CA since 1997 and is a floating hotel. I’ve stayed there a couple of times and most of the ship is in original condition which historically is fascinating, too. But, it is now in much need of a total makeover. Edinburgh is such an iconic city to visit and take in the sights. I’ve enjoying reading about your visit there. Pat


    • How wonderful to stay on The Queen Mary, Pat! What an experience. Yes, it’s a great city to be sure.


  5. A lovely resume (sorry, can’t manage an accent) of your visit to this iconic yacht. I should love to see it and walk in the footsteps of your Queen and the other royals (and I am a royalist). One thing though, she’s not HRH, but I’m sure you know this. She is the only royal not to be HRH. She is, of course, HM, Her Majesty. Oh, I’d love to have my 75th on board – maybe we should combine our birthdays, only mine is much closer than your next big one!
    Margaret P


    • HM, of course! It felt quite humbling to walk in the Queen’s footsteps. Whilst not especially Royalist. I’m definitely not an anti-Royal and seeing this iconic yacht was a fantastic experience. Husband took loads of photos.


  6. It must have been a fascinating visit and the photos are great. Thanks for sharing them.
    J x


    • There were so many photos. So much to see. I didn’t want to bore everyone with loads of detail


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