Gallery: Europe's royal families captured at sea

To mark the Queen's official birthday 2021, BOAT rounds up the most iconic images, and boats, of Europe's royal families at sea, including Prince Philip, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and the Queen herself. 

The Queen

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Here, Queen Elizabeth II is seen boarding the 126m HMY Royal Yacht Britannia in 1995 to cruise around the Western Isles. Royal Yacht Britannia served as the Queen's royal yacht from 1954 until it was decommissioned in 1997. However, plans have now been announced to commission a new national flagship

Prince Philip

Credit: George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Prince Philip, the former Duke of Edinburgh, is photographed here with boat designer Uffa Fox sailing at the Cowes Regatta on board Coweslip, a Flying Fifteen keelboat that was presented to the Queen and Prince Philip as a wedding present in 1949. Prince Philip was known to go sailing frequently on Coweslip with Fox. Together, they won the Britannia Cup in 1952. The husband of Queen Elizabeth II was an avid sailor; he began his training for life at sea while studying at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, and from the age of 18 he joined the Royal Navy and served from 1939 until 1951. During World War II he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets. Before his death, he held the title of Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In October 2018 the Duke and Duchess of Sussex embarked on their first overseas tour as a married couple, visiting Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. The trip was timed to coincide with the Invictus Games, which began on October 20 and of which the Duke of Sussex is a patron, and with sailing making up a key part of the event it wasn't long before the couple found themselves out on the water.

The Duchess of Cambridge

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge both spent time sailing as children and have carried this passion into their adult lives. Here, the Duchess of Cambridge is seen at the helm, competing on behalf of The Royal Foundation at the King's Cup regatta. The event was hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Cowes in 2019. 

Pierre Casiraghi

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Pierre Casiraghi, son of Princess Caroline of Hanover and grandson of Princess Grace of Monaco, is seen on board of Malizia during the 36th Copa Del Rey Mafre Sailing Cup in 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

The British, Spanish and Greek Royal Families

Credit: Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Who better to invite aboard your royal yacht than other royals? When King Juan Carlos of Spain invited the fellow young British and Greek royal families aboard his yacht Fortuna (now re-named Foners) in 1990 it was a photo op not to be missed. From left to right: Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, King Constantine II of Greece, Princess Theodora of Greece, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Charles, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Prince William, Prince Harry, Queen Sofia of Spain, Princess Cristina of Spain and Princess Elena of Spain.

Prince Frederik of Denmark

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A keen sailor, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is seen here with crewmate Chris Meeham competing in the Men's 35+ Tasar class sailing during day seven of the 2009 World Masters Games at Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney, Australia.

The Dutch Royal Family

Credit: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch Princess Felicia, Princess Anastasia, Prince Lucas and Princess Marilene are pictured on their yacht De Groene Draeck (The Green Dragon) attending the final day of SAIL Amsterdam 2015.

Prince George

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Prince George, the firstborn son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is also spotted at the inaugural King’s Cup regatta alongside grandfather Michael Middleton.

King Juan Carlos

Credit: Dusko Despotovic/Sygma via Getty Images

The Spanish royal family has long been known for its sailing prowess and former monarch King Juan Carlos I is no different. In 1972, Juan Carlos even competed at the Olympics in the Dragon class racing and finished in 15th place. The Spanish royal has owned a number of yachts in his lifetime including the 41.5 metre Fortuna, one of the fastest yachts in the world, which has since been renamed Foners. Here he is seen helming another of his yachts, the Judel and Vrolijk-designed sailing yacht Bribón XV.

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