This past week, Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia, which is docked in Edinburgh, celebrated it's 60th anniversary. A super big thank you to So-Ha for alerting me to the fact that there would be a 1950s dress up event to mark the occasion! We've been wanting to check out the former Royal Yacht for quite some time--so this was perfect!!
The Royal Yacht was commissioned in 1953 to serve as Her Majesty's floating royal residence. It has since sailed around the world, covering more than 1,000,000 miles.
It was really fun taking a look at this historic vessel. Much of the equipment and furniture is original to the 1950s:
I took the opportunity to wear my Mrs Peacock skirt made from a 1950s Simplicity (3196) pattern and my swing jacket which was sewn from a 1940 McCall (3619) pattern, but could easily pass for a 1950s swing jacket:
I have the perfect little 1950s teal topper hat that I got the last time I was out West in the U.S. at the fantastic Urban Eccentric Vintage store. I love how it goes so well with the swing jacket and skirt (I love it when that happens--Teal can sometimes be hard to match, but I think they go together quite well!):
The yacht was amazing! I love all the details of the royal residence from the lights, to the wood panelling to the pictures of the royal family scattered throughout the boat.
One thing that really struck me and that they highlight on the audio tour is that the Queen didn't want the royal yacht surroundings to be over the top, instead, she wanted something that had a bit more of a relaxed feel--where she and her family could relax and entertain guests. The living area is a perfect example. Of course, what you don't see is a baby grand piano off to the left which has been bolted to the floor--so they could keep themselves entertained even at sea!
I'm a sucker for anything nautical--and I just love portholes!!
The Yacht was decommissioned in 1997 (and hence is no longer called a 'Royal' yacht) and is now permanently based in Leith (which is part of Edinburgh, in a newly developed harbour area). The yacht has been turned into a museum--and a quite interactive one! Captain David approves:
Many dignitaries have stayed aboard the Britannia including four U.S. presidents (Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan and the Clintons). Princess Di and Prince Charles also celebrated their honeymoon aboard the yacht.
We had a fabulous time! There was a professional photographer (Ruth Armstrong--who took the photo below) and our pictures even made it onto the Royal Yacht Britannia website. We got a free bottle of champagne for dressing in the spirit of the 1950s! I told the woman that I dress like this normally...lol...but that we would happily accept the champagne :-)
I definitely recommend visiting the Britannia if you are ever in Edinburgh, it's an interesting piece of history and has lots of neat nautical elements (like the most amazing engine room I have ever seen) and a little bit of something for everyone!