Reports have emerged that the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence is commissioning a new Royal Yacht in honor of the late Prince Philip, but according to Royal Central, the idea is not popular at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Family is reportedly "displeased" with the reports of this new project, which did not originate with them.
Several British news organizations have reported that the Ministry of Defence plans to commission a new Royal Yacht named after Prince Philip, who passed away earlier this month. The new vessel would theoretically add to the country's "soft diplomacy powers," and help it secure new trade deals following its "Brexit" from the European Union. This indicates that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be a big fan of the project, but according to a report by Sky News, Johnson still has not broached any ideas like this with Queen Elizabeth II.
I’m told the PM hasn’t asked the Queen if she’d like a new yacht - she is well aware of the optics - nor has he asked about using Prince Philip’s name.
Palace apparently very displeased with this suggestion in the papers. https://t.co/PXIbXY5W0r— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) April 26, 2021
"I'm told the Prime Minister hasn't asked the Queen if she'd like a new yacht — she is well aware of the optics — nor has he asked about using Prince Philip's name," tweeted reporter Sam Coats. "Palace apparently very displeased with this suggestion in the papers."
Johnson has reportedly been enthusiastic about the idea of a Royal Yacht in the past, and previous reports estimate that the project would cost the government about £120 million — almost $167 million in the U.S. As a major proponent of the "Brexit," Johnson has frequently touted the yacht as a diplomatic tool.
However, even Johnson has said that taxpayers should not be expected to pay for this leisure item. A few years ago when he was the Foreign Secretary, Johnson reportedly said: "The new Britannia should not be a call on the taxpayer. If it can be done privately I am sure it will attract overwhelming support. It is one of a number of measures that I am sure the government would be able to consider."
"Royal Yacht Brittania" was the name of the previous Royal Yacht, which was in service from 1954 to 1997. At that point, it was decommissioned by the government. It was the 83rd vessel of its kind, following a tradition set by the royal family in 1660, when King Charles II commissioned the first one.
In fact, Queen Elizabeth did conduct 696 foreign visits and 272 local visits on Britannia. However, Johnson's political opponents have their doubts about its economic uses. It is not clear if any real plans for a new Royal Yacht are in the works.