By Emma Dooney
A small number of politicians have called on Boris Johnson to celebrate Prince Philip’s legacy with a new yacht, following the royal consort’s death on Friday.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been asked to commission a Royal Yacht Britannia as a memorial for Prince Philip.
- A handful of British politicians have argued a royal yacht would be an appropriate tribute to the late Navy officer, but not everybody agrees.
- In other royal news, Prince Harry pays heartfelt tribute to 'legend of banter' Prince Philip.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing has been met with an outpouring of national and global grief, with many royal fans taking to social media to offer their condolences. The prince died aged 99 at his home of Windsor Castle in London on April 9, after several months of poor health.
With his funeral closed to the public and mourning customs restricted, many people have felt unable to fully pay their respects to the Queen’s husband. Ideas on how best to commemorate Prince Philip’s life have been circulating since, with some suggesting a memorial that reflects the duke’s impressive Navy career.
A small number of Conservative MPs and Cabinet ministers have proposed the establishment of a new Royal Yacht Britannia, to be named HMY The Duke of Edinburgh. The previous yacht retired from service in 1997 after 43 years in action and is now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh. Supporters of the marine memorial believe that a vessel would be a fitting tribute to the prince, who traveled over 70,000 miles on the original ship.
The construction of a brand new yacht would come at a cost, however. It's predicted the bill would ring up at a whopping £190 million, a price that might sound ludicrous for one memorial. Some proponents of the idea have responded to these concerns by suggesting the boat would be used for service rather than leisure, just like its predecessor.
“Britannia was built to be a hospital ship as well as a royal yacht. Building a vast pleasure cruiser is not something that anyone is going to support,” said one Cabinet minister. “But having a symbol of the nation that can travel the world, be used by the Royal Family and have another sensible purpose such as helping young people is a better scheme.”
Not everyone shares this sentiment, however. The proposal was met with criticism from several members of the public, who believe the funding of the project cannot be justified during this economically fragile time. One parent took to Twitter to voice his opposition, lambasting the idea of spending £190 million on a boat when his daughter’s disability payment is a mere £67 a week.
Boris Johnson to sanction construction of a £190 million successor to Royal Yacht as a memorial to the Duke of EdinburghMy carers allowance is £67 a week. That’s to provide for everything my disabled daughter needs.British priorities 2021@LouiseRawAuthor @Rachael_Swindon pic.twitter.com/jnT6m9Ij9bApril 10, 2021
Labour Councillor Freddie Bailey also slammed the proposal, pointing out the apparent hypocrisy of funding a yacht when so many vulnerable people are suffering.
No money for the poor.No money for the disabled.No money for councils.No money for rough sleepers.No money for social care.No money for the homeless.No money for social housing.No money for the NHS.But apparently there's money for a new Royal Yacht.April 11, 2021
The government has yet to approve any plans for the memorial.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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