Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh: A day in the life of The Queen aboard a floating palace

Eight bells plus one and it's tea time on the yacht

This year, The Royal Yacht Britannia celebrates its 65th year and for over half its life, it had been the vacation home to The Queen, reception venue for heads of states and the honeymoon suite for no less than four royal couples. Decommissioned in 1994, it found permanent docking in Edinburgh, Scotland where it continues to entertain visitors with not only a peak into the former private rooms of the royal family, but an afternoon tea where one can channel their inner Lord or Lady.

Chris at the helm of the Britannia

While in Edinburgh this past May, we were "on board" with taking a tour of  the Britannia - one of the few places one can view a bedroom used by a current monarch and get a feel for the life aboard a floating palace.

The Queen was so fond of the Royal Yacht, that, according to the Royal Yacht Britannia's website, on the day  the ship was officially decommissioned, she shed a tear in a rare display of public emotion.

The Queen's bedroom in the Britannia

The Royal Yacht website also shares an itinerary of The Queen's typical day when she was on board.  Her day would start at 7:30 am, when her maid would bring Her Majesty a cup of tea (which had milk, but no sugar!) and draw her bath.

The Britannia offers a rare glimpse of the boudoir of a reigning monarch

After breakfast and a variety of official duties, the Royal family would meet in the State Dining Room for a buffet lunch.  The Queen would later retire to her office to attend to private correspondences before engaging in (my favorite part of the day), afternoon tea, in Her Majesty's favorite place on the yacht, the sun room.

The Sun Room
The State Dining Room where the Royals meet for lunch and dinner

But, wait, there's more! After a late afternoon consult with her Dresser as to what jewels and attire were  to be worn for the evening - in addition to a suitable amount of time to prepare - The Queen would meet up with guests for dinner, once again in the State Dining Room.

The Drawing Room where the Royals retire after dinner.

Then, of course, the party would retire to the drawing room, complete with a piano and fireplace (much like my family's own boat, but without the piano or fireplace or chintz upholstered furniture).

At 11:00, The Queen would retire to her bedroom (protocol states no one goes to bed until Her Majesty does).  It's nice to know, however, that Prince Phillip's bedroom was adjacent to his royal spouse's suite.

Prince Phillip's bedroom - it's adjacent to Her Majesty's

But wait, there's still more!! In the next installment of the Royal Yacht, we'll talk tea and dish on other royal tales on board the Britannia.

Oh, yes, indeed. The tour continues! More to come!

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