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State & Ceremonial

Plans for the new £200m Royal Yacht are scrapped

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has scrapped controversial plans to commission a new Royal Yacht at an estimated cost of £200,000,000.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in May 2021 that a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia would be built in memory of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

However, speaking in the House of Commons, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the plans are to be axed “with immediate effect.”

Mr Wallace said: “In the face of the Russian illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s reckless disregard of international arrangements designed to keep world order, it is right that we prioritise delivering capabilities which safeguard our national infrastructure.”

Reacting to the news, Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter tweeted: “From the Royal Family’s perspective, it was a non-starter anyway. They never wanted or even asked for a replacement.”

Royal Yacht Britannia was Her Majesty’s personal ship and was in service from 1954 until 1997 when it was decommissioned by the government.

HMY Britannia was the 83rd such vessel since King Charles II acceded to the British throne in 1660.

During her career as Royal Yacht, Britannia conveyed the Queen, other members of the Royal Family and various dignitaries on 696 foreign visits and 272 visits in British waters. In this time, Britannia steamed 1,087,623 nautical miles (2,014,278 km).

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