Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia, also known as the Royal Yacht Britannia, is the former royal yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in service from 1954 until 1997. She was the 83rd such vessel since King Charles II acceded to the throne in 1660, and is the second royal yacht to bear the name, the first being the racing cutter built for the Prince of Wales in 1893. Now retired from royal
service, Britannia is open to visitors and is permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Over 300,000 tourists visit the yacht each year.ConstructionHMY Britannia was built at the shipyard of John Brown & Co. She was launched by Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953, and commissioned on 11 January 1954. The ship was designed with three masts: a 133ft foremast, a 139ft mainmast, and a 118ft mizzenmast. The top aerial on the foremast and the top 20ft of the mainmast were hinged to allow the ship to pass under bridges.Britannia was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war, although this capability was never used. In the event of nuclear war, it was intended for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to take refuge aboard Britannia off the north-west coast of Scotland.