University of the Oceans
Talk about shooting yourself in your foot. The decision of the UK Blair government in 1997 to scrap the Royal Yacht Britannia was not only mean-spirited.
It was also a blow to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
In a foreign country she would attract enormous attention, and High Commissioners from the Commonwealth would be prominent among the foreign diplomats invited on board.
This would remind everyone that the Queen is Sovereign of all of the other realms and Head of the Commonwealth
The Royal visit would attract even more attention than one normally does, to the great advantage of the United Kingdom the other realms and the Commonwealth.
As Prince Philip – a seasoned sailor – says, there was a low-cost alternative to a new Royal yacht, one which the Blair government ruled out. That was to have her steam engines taken out and diesel engines put in.
As the Prince says, Britannia was as sound as a bell could have gone on for another 50 years.
…a new Royal Yacht…
Now there’s a proposal which develops on earlier ones for the private sector to come up with the funds to build a new Royal Yacht.
The British Education Secretary Michael Gove had expressed his support for a new yacht as a potential gift to The Queen from the nation to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Apparently the Prime Minister David Cameron supports this, but has ruled out any public financing.
The Future Ship Project for the 21st Century (FSP21) involves building a ship 600ft long, to be used for trade and business events, as well as a training ship for 200 young people, a University of the Oceans.
…University of the Oceans…
Britannia was conceived as also functioning as a hospital ship and has actually been used was used for humanitarian purposes.
If some of the realms the realms were involved in the building of the new ship it could be used for their advantage too.
Naturally the usual suspects of come out to attack the proposal even as a private initiative. They are just small-minded obsessed republicans.
Were Australia involved in the building of the new yacht, it could also be used for our national purposes. If a member of the Royal family were asked to be involved in a visit to a foreign country for promoting trade or some other national purposes – including training young Australians – the impact would be powerful.
It may distress republican politicians, but the visit one of them to foreign capital doesn’t exactly have the same impact as say a member of the Australian Royal family.
Australia should get behind this proposal.