HMY Britannia was designed for use by Her Majesty the Queen in peacetime as the Royal Yacht but could have been converted to a medium-sized naval hospital ship. The yacht was fitted with Denn-Brown single fin stabilisers to reduce roll in bad weather from 20 to 6 degrees. To allow her to pass under the bridges when she visited Canada, the top 20ft of her mainmast and the radio aerial were hinged in November 1958 so they could be lowered.
In 1984 there was a refit which included her being converted to diesel fuel. There was a further refit carried out in 1986 - 1987 which extended her life by 10 to 15 years. HMY Britannia was built by John Brown in Clydebank and was launched on the 16th April 1953. She was commissioned on 14th January 1954.
The rooms and other places of interest on the Royal Yacht are as follows Verandah Deck, Drawing Room, Anteroom, The Queen's Bathroom, The Queen's Bedroom, The Queen's Sitting Room, Prince Philip's Bedroom, Dining Room, Sun Lounge, Royal guest's Bedrooms and Bathrooms and Maid's Rooms.
The Royal Yacht has been used for many royal honeymoons. Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong Jones who were married on 6th May 1960 used the ship for their honeymoon. Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips were married on 14th November 1973, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married on 29th July 1981 and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson married on 23rd July 1986 all used HMY Britannia for their honeymoons.
A regular routine on Britannia with the Queen on board would include a queens maid bringing her a cup of tea at 7:30pm. At 8:30 breakfast would be served on the verandah deck. At 9:15 the Queen would begin her work and at 11am there would be a coffee break and the evening meal would be chosen. At 1pm other members of the Royal Family on board would join the Queen for a buffet lunch. At 2pm the Queen then continues her paperwork. At 5pm all guests on the yacht gather for tea and at 6pm the Queen retires to her bedroom to decide what to wear for the evening. At 7:30pm the Royal Family meets in the anteroom for drinks before entering the dining room. At 9:30 when dinner is finished coffee and mints are served and the Queen will then retire to her room.
The captains on board the ship were as follows:-