Wednesday, 16 April 2014

On This Day: 1953

"Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves."


I have actually been on board Brittania. My uncles wife, when she was simply his girlfriend, knew someone who worked on the royal yacht and was lucky enough to be able to have a look around when it was docked in Portsmouth and she took me along.

I recall wearing a sailor style dress and being very smug when a little boy also having a private look about, said to his mum, "Is that the Captain's daughter?"

We weren't allowed in the official dining room but I did peek through the window and seem to recall the upholstery in one area where we had refreshments having bananas on it!

Queen Launches Royal Yacht Britannia

Thousands of well-wishers greeted the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they arrived at Clydeside to launch the new royal yacht, Britannia.

The Queen, who is to be crowned in June, named the ship at a ceremony at the Clydebank yard of John Brown and Co.

In spite of heavy rain, more than 30,000 people came to hear Her Majesty say: "I name this ship Britannia."

The rest of her speech was drowned out by deafening cheers from the 30,000-strong crowd, mostly employees of the shipbuilders and their families.

They sang Rule Britannia accompanied by a band. 

Visit To Dumbarton Castle

The Queen and Duke had a busy schedule prior to the naming ceremony.

They arrived at Dumbarton by train this morning and were greeted by 5,000 children at the station. There the Queen visited an industrial estate, chatted with workers and planted a
Scots pine in the grounds.

Then she paid a visit to Dumbarton Castle, the first reigning monarch to come here since Queen Victoria in 1847.

She planted a cherry tree in the grounds before her next visit - to Mountblow housing scheme for the elderly in Clydebank.

Lord Aberconway, chairman of John Brown Ltd, greeted her at the shipyard where she had lunch with company directors before the naming ceremony.

The Royal Yacht has a displacement of 4,000 tons and has been designed so she can be converted to a hospital ship if necessary.