In a famous photo from 1997, Queen Elizabeth II is pictured crying as she watches the decommissioning of her royal luxury yacht. For a Queen renowned for her calm, stoic demeanor, this rare eruption of emotion was unexpected. Her Majesty’s Royal yacht, the Britannia, had held a special place in the Queen’s heart and her family’s distinguished history.
Modern luxury yachting is not usually closely associated with nobility, but many royal families all over the world have long histories of building and chartering these floating palaces on water. During the reign of Charles II in 1660, the first British Royal Yacht was commissioned and started a tradition that would span hundreds of years. The nobility’s early interest in yachting would ultimately be responsible for the building of 83 subsequent Royal Yachts over the decades.
Luxury Yacht Racing: A Noble Tradition
In 1826, seven plucky members of the Royal Yacht Club decided to hold a race for £100. News of this event reached high-society culture and made its way to the British Monarchy. Yachting’s deep roots within the nobility came to show as King George IV presented the winners with the King’s Cup the following year. Awarding the winners of the famous regatta with the highest honor, the King’s Cup, was a tradition that held until 1939.
King George VI replaced The King’s Cup in 1950 with the Britannia Cup, the namesake for Queen Elizabeth’s beloved royal yacht commissioned in 1953.
Not only has the British monarchy attended these epic yacht races consistently over the competition’s rich history, but His Royal Highness Prince Philip was also a regular competitor in the Cowes Regatta. He competed as the Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron and has continued to be closely associated with the competition, opening a new Regatta Centre in 2004.
The racing yachts that compete at Cowes Regatta every year are all sail powered, as per keeping with the sailing yacht tradition. In fact, the Britannia was only the second Royal Yacht that has been motor powered.
Luxury Yachts Are the Royals’ Home Away from Home
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II once said that her royal yacht, the Britannia, was the only place where she could truly relax. It makes sense – after her marriage, she was moved from one castle to another and never had the opportunity to truly nest. The Britannia was her opportunity to create a private family home where she could spend time with her family outside of the public eye. The floating palace was built to her specifications with grand dining rooms and even a garage on-board for the royal Rolls-Royce.
The Choice for Nobility Around the World
The Victorian nobility and their love of yachting is matched by royal families all over the world. Dubai’s royal family has what is called a ‘mega-yacht,' that is worth $300 million dollars. At 524 ft long, it is the second-largest yacht in the world. The Sultan of Oman’s yacht boasts a crew of 150 people and can even host a 50-piece orchestra, coming in as the fourth-largest yacht in the world. The sixth-largest yacht in the world was built in 1984 for the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. It is still often seen sailing the Mediterranean, visiting Cannes, France, and Spain.
How a Private Yacht Makes for The Perfect Royal Honeymoon
Royals have opted for yachting for their most luxurious and private vacations. Prince Charles and Princess Diana spent their royal honeymoon on the Britannia, and were not the only ones: four royal honeymoons have taken advantage of the opulence and privacy that this prestigious vessel offered. It has also been said that the worlds favorite royal couple, Prince William and his former fiancé Kate Middleton, spent many days finalizing their wedding plans aboard the iconic royal ship. It seems that royal romance can find no more comfortable place than aboard a luxury yacht.
Vacation Like Royalty
There are many reasons why luxury yachting has always been the holiday of choice for nobility across the globe. Perhaps no other vacation could be as private and adventurous as chartering the high seas. When paired with elegant modern craftsmanship, and deluxe performance, these vessels are not just boats, they are escapes.
If you want to vacation like royalty, consider a state-of-the-art, precision made yacht like this exciting, contemporary revolution in modern yachting: the Say 42 Runabout Carbon. The perfect combination of comfort and excitement will have you eager to jet off to your favorite location for a relaxing vacation where you are in the drivers seat. A smart, sporty yacht like this is the perfect compromise of power and style that inspires adventure.
Modern yachting aims to combine cutting edge engineering with a bespoke design that will elevate your vacation experience. Whether you are entertaining guests in your sleek hull, decorated with mementos from your copious travels in your personal floating palace, or sunbathing with your loved ones while dipping your toes in the crystal clear blue waters of some hidden destination, you will see why luxury yachting has been the choice of the elite and nobility for centuries.
Though few are quick to make the association between nobility and yachting, it is clear that Victorian nobility has paved the way for modern yacht racing and modeled to the world that these breathtaking vessels are the perfect way to explore the world in the lap of luxury and can truly capture your heart.