Second Day in Edinburgh – 25th May 2022

Marlena and Wolfgang decided that they would head out of Edinburgh on the boat this morning and that we would redezvous with them down the cut later in the day.

We, meantime, caught a bus down to the port area of Edinburgh to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia which has been moored up since it was decommissioned back in November 1997. On 23 June 1994, John Major’s Government announced there would be no refit for HMY Britannia as the costs would be too great. After a long and successful career spanning 44 years and travelling over 1 million miles around the globe, it was announced that the last Royal Yacht was to be decommissioned.

There was no immediate decision about a replacement, but the question of a new Royal Yacht became a political issue in the run up to the 1997 General Election. After the election, the new Labour Government eventually confirmed in October 1997 there would be no replacement for Britannia. 

The tour around the yacht was self guided and very thorough. You were provided with a handset of good quality and easy to follow.

The beginnings of the yacht go something like this. It was decided that a new Royal Yacht should be commissioned that could travel the globe and double as a hospital ship in time of war. It was also hoped a convalescence cruise would help the King’s ailing health. The John Brown & Co shipyard in Clydebank received the order from the Admiralty for a new ship on 4 February, 1952. Sadly King George VI, The Queen’s father, passed away two days later.

The main dining room where official banquets were held for dignatories.

HRH’s study. They said that every day, no matter where the royal yacht was in the world, the red dispatch boxes were delivered to her.

Entertaining area as well as the family informal lounge room.

Has to be one of the cleanest engine rooms around.

A small runaround car for when you dock up.

The gangway that would be laid out for the royals. They scrimped on nothing when it came to pomp and ceremony. Fras felt it was only right he should practice the royal wave.

It was then up to the poop deck for some tea and scones before we headed off for our next adventure.

We sneaked out with a couple of these table napkins from our lunch. Bit scared that if we were caught, we would be shackled and chained and sent off Downunder – yet again!

We have been missing Toque terribly, so we thought we would get her a mate.

Meet Colin the Corgi who comes from the royal yacht and will be accompanying us on our further travels. He is known for his high standards and impeccable attention to detail. Not sure how he is going to handle moving from Britannia to a lowly canal boat in Scotland and the UK.

By hook or by crook we found our way back to the top of Princes Street in the city and then made our way up to Calton Hill for an over view of the city. For the best view, you need to climb up to Arthur’s Seat which is another look out in the city but of a much higher elevation. We just did not have enough time to be able to do this.

Wolfgang and Marlena had made it back along the canal as far as Ratho which was four hours cruising from Edinburgh. It was a gorgeous spot and right next to the local pub where we went for dinner. It took us a train and a short taxi ride to make it there plus some determination. A lot of these little places use to have a train station but, like many transport services, they have been cancelled.

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