Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Senior naval officers have called for a replacement royal yacht to be produced.

Rear Admiral Sir John Garnier, Rear Admiral Sir Robert Woodard and Commodore Anthony Morrow commanded Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia between them from 1985 and 1997 - when it was decommissioned - and they are keen for a new addition to the royal fleet.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, they wrote: "We are happy to add weight to the strong support that has been given in letters from many of your readers to the campaign to seek a replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia.

"Our combined experience respectively in command of Britannia, from 1985 until she was decommissioned in 1997, witnessed the highly significant and tangible contribution she made for the United Kingdom throughout those and previous years."

The trio also highlighted some comments by Prince Philip from 1997 when he said the Britannia yacht had "produced tangible and intangible contributions to the British economy".

They added: "It was very disappointing that these benefits were not fully recognised at that time.

"However, we believe that the highly impressive role that Britannia played for the nation throughout those years could be continued well with a replacement royal yacht to enhance the prestige and trade of the United Kingdom in these times of great change."

In 1997 the Conservative government said they were keen to replace the vessel, but they lost the election to Labour in May that year.

Labour then announcement the ship was being retired and there would be no replacement.

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