Royal Yacht Britannia makes a great day out. Go see how the other half live – Hayley Matthews

The boys had been asking about “Tanya Boat” since we last visited Ocean Terminal.

Saturday, 14th May 2022, 4:55 am
The Royal Yacht Britannia takes part in a Review of the Fleet at Spithead in 1988
The Royal Yacht Britannia takes part in a Review of the Fleet at Spithead in 1988

So we booked in to have lunch and a tour of what’s otherwise known as the Royal Yacht Britannia on the promise of them being on their best behaviour. No chasing each other, no fighting and no dramas was how I sold it.

The excitement was high as we’d never gone before. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Edinburgh all these years and never been on the Tanya Boat!

We started off doing the tour, learning that Britannia was the first Royal Yacht to be built with complete ocean-going capacity, as well as being designed as a Royal residence to entertain guests around the world.

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I saw some glam drinks bars, but sadly they were empty. As we looked round all the different levels of the yacht, we were amazed at the size of it. It’s very swanky inside and I can just imagine the royal knees-ups that must have been had as the yacht sailed around the globe.

It’s also very apparent how different the two areas of the yacht are. As we moved between the decks, we could see why the Britannia is often referred to as two ships in one.

The magnificent state apartments and Royal Family's living quarters are tranquil and elegant compared to the tiny wee bunk beds that the crew used. It was a bit cramped below deck however, there was a sense of how busy and special it would have been to be working on the yacht.

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As our tummies started to rumble, I suggested that we head up to the Royal Tea Room for soup and a sandwich. This suggestion went down well, so off we went for a well-earned rest in the tea room.

Rosie, Gayle and Marcine were looking after us and I watched in awe of them gliding about the tea room, seamlessly attending to people as they kept their grace and composure.

I could see everyone felt very special being in the tea room and being attended to like VIPs. I could hear Rosie saying she’d been an airhostess for the Dutch Royal Family and loves working on the Britannia.

I can see why, the place is like another world. The staff were brilliant with the kids and the soup and sandwiches were amazing. We finished our tour with a stop in the sweetie shop which is hidden in the lower decks and treated ourselves to some home-made fudge and a few candy necklaces.

The place is absolutely immaculate inside with people busy polishing brass and wiping down bannisters so the entire place is gleaming. You’d almost imagine the Queen hoping on at any moment, announcing she’s taking us all to the Bahamas for the weekend.

But seriously, it was an insight into how different life is for the royals, so how nice of them to share it with us, giving a little glimpse of how the other half live.

We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any family looking for a day of excitement. I’d say it took us three hours in total to get round the ship and have lunch. So if you think you might enjoy it, treat yourself to an afternoon. Thank you, Britannia, for a lovely day.