Did you know that you can tour  H.M. Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Yacht Britannia?   Exciting enough, but add a private dinner onboard and dinner companions including authors and historians Alison Weir and Sarah Gristwood, well the whole evening takes on magical proportions.  This is why I travel.  This summer, I joined Alison on a Mary Queen of Scots tour through Scotland and England.  Following the travels and travails of Mary in the company of many notable historians brought new insights into familiar sites.  Traveling with Alison means that the finest scholars, historians and curators want to meet you and discuss the latest findings about histories that continue to be told. (  I am not even mentioning Richard III here which was of course an off-topic, hot topic.)  Alison began her tour company four years ago and has such a loyal following that her tours now sell out before advertised and several years in advance.  I have been fortunate to join three and look forward to joining her in June 2015 for her “Great Queens” tour. Many more posts to come.


The author with author and historian Alison Weir– Off with her head?


What was life like on the Royal Yacht for the royals sailing around the world?  Amazingly to me, it was simple and relaxed.  This was one place where they could enjoy each other, away from the eyes of the world….between ports.   In service from 1954 to 1997 when it was the floating residence of H.M and her family on many UK and international tours.  Now permanently moored in Leith,Edinburgh, where you can still experience the royal lifestyle of those years.  As you will see in the pictures below, the decor was simple and the pictures show the relaxed atmosphere when the royal family was onboard.

The Reception Room


HM Queen Elizabeth’s simple bedroom
HRH Prince Philip’s bedroom
The Honeymoon Suite, HRH Charles and Diana
The only place on the ship that the name appears.
HM’s car, a Rolls-Royce Phantom V, that traveled with her on voyages-as did a mechanic. It was presented to her in 1960.
View from the deck as H.M. Yacht Britannia is permanently docked in Edinburgh.
HM Queen Elizabeth in a rare informal photograph in pants (trousers).
The officer’s napkins


Book of Remembrance
Officer’s Bar with picture of King George VI
Heading to the dining room for our private dinner onboard.


Original Glassware


Our Menu was typical of what would have been served onboard.
Good Night.



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