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Plans for £200 million British flagship revealed

1 June 2021By Tom McGhie

Plans for a new national flagship replacing the Royal Yacht Britannia have been revealed by the UK government in a bid to boost British trade and business.

The ship, which will cost a reported £200 million, will begin construction next year, and is expected to enter service within the next four.

Winch Design's original design for the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia
Top image credit: Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Steve Daniels. This image: Winch Design

The tendering process for the design and construction of the ship, which is intended to “reinvigorate” UK shipbuilding, will get underway shortly. The construction and design of the ship will “reflect British design expertise” and boast “the latest innovations in green technology”, the UK government said.

Crewed by the Royal Navy, the ship will embark on “six-month” itineraries, according to the government, which might include docking in a country where a prime ministerial visit is taking place, hosting trade fairs or providing a venue for an international trade summit.

Prime minister Boris Johnson described the new flagship as “the first vessel of its kind in the world.

“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,” he added.

The ship will be the successor to the 126 metre Royal Yacht Britannia, which was used as Queen Elizabeth II’s royal yacht from 1954 to 1997, hosting up to 250 guests at a time and crewed by 21 officers and 250 yachtsmen from the Royal Navy.

Although the name of the ship is yet to be announced, reports suggest the vessel will be named after the Duke of Edinburgh, who aided in designing the Britannia.