Queen ‘turned down’ Boris Johnson’s plan to name £200m successor to royal yacht Britannia after Prince Philip

  •  Royal sources said it was ‘not something that [they] had asked for’ 
  • Vessel will be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks
  • Will be first national flagship since Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997

The successor to the Royal Yatch Britannia will not be named after the late Duke of Edinburgh as Prime Minister Boris Johnson had hoped.   

Costing up to £200 million, the boat will be used to host ministerial summits and diplomatic talks as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to build links with other countries following Brexit. 

It will be the first national flagship since Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997, but the new vessel will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht. 

Boris Johnson has announced a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia to promote British trade on the world stage following Brexit (an artists impression of the new national flagship)

The old vessel is currently berthed in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

It was hoped that the ship would be named after the Prince Philip, who died in April at the age of 99, but the PM’s plan was rejected by the royals. 

A senior Whitehall inside had said the ship would be named after Prince Philip, who played a role in designing the original yatch Britannia, if Buckingham Palace agreed to the plan. 

But, a royal source said the suggestion was ‘too grand’ and added ‘it is not something we have asked for.’ 

The Royal Family will not be using the new ship for personal travel or holidays, as they previously did with the former Royal Yatch Britannia, but will be able to use it to undertake overseas visits at the request of the government. 

The Royal Yatch was particularly important to the Royal Family, who used it as a private getaway for holidays and honeymoons for more than 40 years.

It is understood that the Queen, 95, no longer undertakes overseas travel because of her age.

The Royal Yatch was particularly important to the Royal Family, who used it as a private getaway for holidays and honeymoons for more than 40 years.  

When it was decommissioned the monarch, who it has been reported was happiest on board the yatch, was seen shedding a tear in public. 

Buckingham Palace has not been involved in the decision to commission the ship but a source said ‘we respect it’.    

It will be the first national flagship since Britannia (pictured), which was decommissioned in 1997, but the new vessel will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht

Construction of the new ship is expected to begin as soon as 2022 and it will enter service within the next four years. 

The tendering process for the design and construction of the vessel will launch shortly, with an emphasis on showcasing British design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.

It is expected to be in service for about 30 years, and will be crewed by the Royal Navy. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation.

Mr Johnson (pictured) said: ‘This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation’

‘Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.’ 

Shadow Treasury chief secretary Bridget Phillipson said: ‘Right now our country faces huge challenges, and there’s no sign the government has a plan for the recovery.

‘We want to see public money used for targeted investment in a green economic recovery, resources for our NHS, and supporting families to succeed.

The old vessel ((pictured) is currently berthed in Edinburgh, Scotland

‘If this ship is going to be part of a genuine plan for Britain’s future, the government must set out clearly how it will boost trade, jobs and growth in every corner of our country.

‘We’d want to see it built in Britain, supporting jobs and skills in shipyards here, and with a real focus on value for money at every stage.’

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