Writing about the D-Day anniversary, Robert Hardman (Spectator 7 June 2014) says that these events ”remind us what we lost when Tony Blair pensioned off the Royal Yacht to a cruise terminal in Leith.
”On the eve of the 50th anniversary of D-Day, a million lined the Solent to wave her off to Normandy with the Queen and the leaders of the free world aboard.
”I well remember Lech Walesa of Poland, pressed to the deck rail, fists clenched and speechless with emotion, while Bill Clinton surveyed the scene and quoted Eisenhower.
”Since national pride dictated that he should land in a US vessel, Mr Clinton had to jump ship — literally — south of the Isle of Wight and nearly fell in. Come nightfall, Britannia steamed up the canal to Caen.
”At Pegasus Bridge, she was greeted by bands, saluting veterans and sobbing crowds.
”This week, the Queen and Prince Philip arrive on a scheduled Eurostar service.”