We Brits just adore our heritage. We lovingly renovate medieval castles, we meticulously dig up Roman remains, and we painstakingly restore steam locomotives. When it comes to a famous ship though, we’ve handed the task over to an Italian master ship builder.
And the particular part he’s playing in our beloved heritage? He’s purloined the old royal yacht Britannia from its previous owners in Norway, shipped it to Cowes on the Isle of Wight and is currently restoring it from prow to stern. The vessel, itself a replica of the boat built for King George V and scuttled in 1938, is going to feature a customi flagpole, created from the wood used for the top mast of the original vessel.
Guiseppe Longo, the new owner, proudly admitted, “We have already managed to purchase the original Britannia clock and we are hoping for gifts, to buy or to be loaned items. We are very much hoping to have the original medicine chest on loan and we have received the original top mast, which will be used to make the flagpole.” He added, “Before the original Britannia was scuttled, most items were stripped from her, so there is real hope that the K1 Britannia will be much more than a replica, that she would incorporate items that would have been part of King George’s love affair with the yacht.”
With its new mast rising to a lofty 55 metres, it’ll be a pleasure watching this graceful craft negotiating the crowded waters of the Solent once again. ‘God bless all who sail in her’ might be the most appropriate sentiment to welcome this classic yacht back to our shores.