How Royal divorces made John Main dither over changing the Royal Yacht Britannia
- Main administration was involved at public anger over price of a brand new vessel
- Debate started after marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew fell aside
- In March 1996, Sir John’s personal secretary, Alex Allan, described rationale
- PM didn’t really feel it was ‘the correct time’ to take a choice on a brand new Royal Yacht
John Main dithered over changing Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia amid fears of a backlash within the wake of two high-profile Royal divorces, newly declassified papers reveal.
Paperwork from the Nationwide Archives present that the Main administration was involved at potential public anger over the price of a alternative vessel.
In March 1996, Sir John’s personal secretary, Alex Allan, described his boss’s rationale in a be aware marked ‘Confidential’: ‘Within the mild of the present debate in regards to the Royal Household and the Monarchy, the Prime Minister didn’t really feel it was the correct time to take a choice on a brand new Royal Yacht.
John Main dithered over changing Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia amid fears of a backlash within the wake of two high-profile Royal divorces, newly declassified papers reveal
‘The matter ought to, nonetheless, be stored beneath common evaluate: as soon as the divorce between the Prince and Princess of Wales had been accomplished, for instance, public sentiment may flip shortly.’
The Authorities lastly determined to switch Britannia from public funding in January 1997, however the plan was reversed by Tony Blair when he was elected to Downing Avenue 4 months later.
The Queen, nonetheless, is alleged to have reserved the biggest share of the blame for Sir John, with an official historical past of the yacht in 2003 pointing the finger at his delay in making a choice.
Sir John later stated: ‘Ask your self this query. Within the midst of the recession, with the British individuals dealing with financial hardship, how common wouldn’t it have been to announce a £50 million spend on a brand new yacht for the private use of the Royal Household?’
Paperwork from the Nationwide Archives present that the Main administration was involved at potential public anger over the price of a alternative vessel
The 412ft Britannia was launched in 1953 and served the Queen for state visits overseas.
It was additionally utilized by different Royals, together with Charles and Diana on their honeymoon.
The vessel is now a vacationer attraction in Edinburgh’s port of Leith and welcomes 390,000 guests a yr.
Widespread debate had opened up in regards to the funding of the Royal Household because the marriages of Prince Charles (pictured with Princess Diana) and Prince Andrew fell aside
Successive Prime Ministers, together with David Cameron and Boris Johnson, have reportedly thought-about proposals to fee a brand new Royal Yacht however the plans haven’t materialised.
Though Charles and Diana’s divorce was not finalised till August 1996, their ‘amicable separation’ had been introduced by Sir John within the Commons in December 1992.
The wedding between Andrew and Sarah Ferguson was formally dissolved in Might 1996, 4 years after they parted firm.