Saturday, September 29, 2007

Britannia rules the waves

Queen heads for her Cayman Island tax haven for some duty-free shopping.

The Royal Yacht Britannia, launched in 1953, and decommissioned in 1997 after over a million nautical miles, has spent its retirement years docked in Leith harbour, not 5 minutes from where I'm staying. As such, it's taken until my final afternoon in Edinburgh to pay a visit.

(L-R) Royal Barge; dockside; the helm; round thing;
(L-R) A handy dockside Debenhams for Her Majesty to slip in for something fresh for the evening gala; view over to the Forth Bridge; a bell; Corgi zone

Car kept on board so the family could discreetly evade the seedy types hanging around the docks.

Britannia's nerve centre, where Betty the telephone operator would connect you to your favourite dignitary.

Petty Officers' quarters, where they were allowed to have a quiet fiddle on the lower bunk.

The Chief Purple Fluffy Baboon gets nicer quarters (no, not hindquarters!)

... they're cousins,
Non-identical cousins and you'll find,
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike --

You can lose your mind,
When cousins are three of a kind.

Liz entertains her best friend Paul from down-under.

Sun room

In this room, the Royals would cavort with a stuffed wombat, launching it from the ceiling fan. I'm not making this up. (See below). Maybe this is where the drop-bear legend came from.

Happy days!

Queen's Chamber (but without queen-size bed)

State Dining Room

The Drawing Room, where heads of government would retire to play Pictionary after a challenging series of clarets. The piano on the left was sometimes played by Nöel Coward, entertaining the family with self-penned ditties such as Don't put your daughter on the throne, Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Silver pantry; plate pantry; specialized laundry machines for crinkling ruffs and starching upper lips.

Everything is catered for on the Britannia: if a guest is pining for Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, or hasn't packed enough fudge, then the on-board shop has it (VAT-free if less than 25th in line for throne).

Engine room.


  1. Anonymous5:26 pm

    show some respect you bloody colonial - hitmouse

  2. That sounds like a comment from Badfort in the Welsh colony