Royal yacht cut schooner in half and killed three

Alberta leaving Portsmouth Harbour in 1902
Alberta leaving Portsmouth Harbour in 1902
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The picture taken in 1902, we see the Royal Yacht tender Alberta, with the newly-crowned king Edward VII on board, heading out of Portsmouth Harbour probably for the Isle of Wight.

Queen Victoria used her mainly as a ferry to get to Osborne House. The yacht hit the headlines after running down a schooner in the Solent in 1875, cutting it in two and killing three people. The Queen was unscathed.

The schooner, Mistletoe, was reported to be travelling about three knots and the Queen’s yacht at 15. The Mistletoe’s survivors said it was their impression that ‘steam always gives way to sail’.

The picture on the right shows the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1994 during the 50th anniversary of D-Day commemorations.

After the fleet review, the Queen and 12 heads of state headed for Normandy.

· From John Sadden’s Portsmouth Through Time.