The Royal Yacht Britannia, Queen Elizabeth II’s former floating palace, is now a tourist spot in Edinburgh. Located in the harbor in Leith, it’s right on the tram line, making it an easy visit from central Edinburgh.
My moderate fascination with the monarchy made the Royal Yacht higher on my list than it maybe for most, but regardless of your level of interest in the royal family, the yacht was still very interesting to see. Five of the decks are open to the public, and the self guided audio tour was easy to follow and full of information.
The tour started with the captain’s area. We saw the control room, as well as the living and dining quarters.
Next is the where the royal family spent their time. The furniture, like most fancy places, didn’t look the most comfortable. I wonder if the royals are used to being uncomfortable their whole lives to the point where they don’t even think about being comfy and cozy.
The staff quarters were also open to visit. It was quite the stark contrast between how the queen slept and the staff. You could write a whole thesis on the sociology of class disparities on the Royal Yacht Britannia alone.
It also still has an operating suite, used during the war when it was a military ship.
Outside the yacht is the tender that was used to take the royal family to shore.
At £18.50 per person, it was a little expensive for what it was, and considering the people of the UK should probably own it anyway. Like seeing anything where uber wealthy people lived, it was fascinating and I’m glad we went.
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