When our Britannia really did rule the royal waves

June 1994 and Brittania, surrounded by a flotilla of small craft, takes part in the Fleet Review marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day PPP-150113-152725001
June 1994 and Brittania, surrounded by a flotilla of small craft, takes part in the Fleet Review marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day PPP-150113-152725001
You might struggle with this scene but it is in fact looking across Waite Street, Cosham. The tram is heading for Spur Road.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: When trams ran through the fire station’s offices at Cosham

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Is it really more than 17 years since the Royal Yacht Britannia reached the end of her seagoing career?

Who in this area will ever forget the pictures of the Queen shedding a tear as her floating palace was decommissioned in Portsmouth Naval Base in December 1997.

Britannia sailed on her maiden voyage from Portsmouth to Grand Harbour, Malta in April 1954. She carried Princess Anne and Prince Charles to Malta so they could meet the Queen and Prince Philip in Tobruk at the end of the couple’s Commonwealth tour. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh embarked Britannia for the first time in Torbruk on May 1, 1954.

During her near 44-year career, the Portsmouth-based yacht welcomed four American presidents on board – Dwight D Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, the latter during his stay in Portsmouth for the D-Day 50 commemorations.