For those looking for a British royalty tour, there are obvious places across England to visit. But if you want to try something a little different, Edinburgh, Scotland is home to a number of monuments that are rich in royal history. When it comes to recent history, nothing compares to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is now permanently docked in the Port of Leith, Edinburgh.
"Britannia is special for a number of reasons," said His Royal Highness Prince Philip of the yacht, which launched in 1953. "Almost every previous sovereign has been responsible for building a church, a castle, a palace or just a house. The only comparable structures in the present reign is Britannia." Prince Philip attributes Britannia as a prime example of British design and technology of the time. The grand ship played home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for nearly half a century, as well as host to kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers from around the world. World leaders from Sir Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela to Bill Clinton are all a part of Britannia's gilded maritime heritage.
The ship herself is an intimate glance into the lives of the Royal family, decked out with comfortable casual furniture that recalls more a proper Caribbean estate than Buckingham Palace. The walls throughout are lined with aged family portraits. The State Dining Room is covered with gifts given to Her Majesty from her 968 official state visits all over the world, from rare giant shells to island wood carvings. No less than four royal honeymoons took place on board the Yacht, including that of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. A grand piano sits at the entrance, bolted down to the floor, which Diana herself used to play when greeting guests.
Gallery: Royal Yacht Britannia