The Royal Yacht Britannia – The Official History


There are good books, bad books, average books, and few books that generate the WOW!!!! factor. This is one of the latter. It is a very difficult book for a reviewer because there is just some much packed into the pages and the range of topics covered is enormous. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh provides a very good review in his foreword to the book, which he describes as ‘a fascinating account of the career of this remarkable ship’. Perhaps this justly reflects THE Royal yacht, an icon of British tradition and style for half a Century. A reviewer is always cautious of superlatives, but this is a subject where superlatives are somehow inadequate to describe the subject and its presentation. The author is an internationally established marine writer, yachting journalist, and photographer who established himself as a naval historian with his definitive book “Britain’s Greatest Warship – HMS Ark Royal IV”. The author has received unprecedented support from the Royal Family, the Royal Household, the Royal Yachtsmen, senior politicians, Heads of State, the designer, and a host of others who have been part of the story of HMY Britannia. The publisher has a well-established reputation for publishing definitive works on maritime subjects and is particularly renowned for the technical quality and illustration of these books. It has to be said that this is a book that justifies several reviews of each of a number of distinct aspects that together are the story of a very famous vessel. As a ship, she is based on commercial designs that were elevated to a completely new level by the way in which she was fitted out and lovingly maintained through her life. In many respects she was surprisingly Spartan in her furnishing but every ship is brought to life by the people who touch her and HMY Britannia has touched and been touched by many extraordinary people. Unlike most Royal Navy vessels, many of her crew served for very long unbroken periods, rather than reposting every two years, or more frequently

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