2021

Day 20 – On The Royal Yacht

Rest day in Edinburgh

Whatever you think about the Royal Family, it’s always worth paying £13.50 for a peek behind the scenes. I’ve not troubled them over the years except for two occasions, both graduations. In 1978, the Queen Mother gave me her special smile when I was one of thousands of graduates presented to her in the Albert Hall. Then, a few years later, I was back, and this time it was Princess Anne in the chair. God only knows what sort of a life they lead but at least they had the Royal Yacht Britannia at their disposal.

But the cost of an admiral, 20 officers and 220 crew was too much, even for Tony Blair. She was decommissioned in 1997 just after the UK returned Hong Kong to China.

So there I was at Ocean Terminal, Leith at 10am for my tour of the bridge, the State Apartments and banquet hall, the Royal sun deck and the crew quarters; even the garage for the Rolls Royce. Lots of photos and memorabilia everywhere. Princess Di looking rather dated but a youthful Princess Anne surprisingly catching the eye.

After that I retreated into the Royal Botanic Gardens, admission free and nowhere to get a cup of tea. All very strange.

Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. The centre was busy but not with tourists and much of the festival is online, this year. I could stay another day but I still have a long way to go and winter is coming, as they say.

The Queen’s bedroom, regulation 3 foot bed
It took 3 hours to lay the table
Impeccable taste
They were all here… presidents, Noel Coward, Frank Sinatra…
The 8m high beech hedge in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Moving trees around

6 comments on “Day 20 – On The Royal Yacht

  1. Hmmm. We saw that self same bell in Trinity House 2 years ago, didn’t we (we did, I have the photo)? Maybe there were 2 Britannias all along…

    • I think there have been a few Britannia yachts over the years.

  2. Got to see my first castle in Edinburgh when I was a wee one. Well, maybe not wee, but a youngun. It left quite an impression on a young girl from the plains of the northern U.S. where there is nary a building so large nor so old. Edinburgh is a beautiful city.

    Are you eating haggis while with the Scots? Tried it once (the waitress wouldn’t tell me what it was. “Just try it!”) Glad I didn’t know, or I never would have tried it. Had to admit, it wasn’t bad.

    • You can always go to Disneyland to see an old castle. But even being British, Edinburgh takes my breath away. Putting a big castle right in the centre is an act of architectural genius. It’s just stunning. I’m not eating haggis even though it is standard in burgers and almost everything. I ate it when I was here for the marathon in 1984. The haggis probably added a couple of minutes to my time.

  3. I remember well that loooooong table in the yacht.

    • You’d have to be careful not to drink too much because there weren’t any rest rooms

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