A Couple of Royal Yacht Alternatives
Monday 16 January 2012Having a go at the government seems to have become a bit of a national pastime so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the education secretary's suggestion that the nation might wish to buy the Queen a yacht, despite being in a time of austerity, has cause a bit of a rumble within society.
The idea is going to have a very short life with no indication that anyone else in the cabinet or the Queen herself wants to make such a purchase. Although naturally Prince Charles can see the appeal (I would).
The public does not seem content with the idea that our governments have been purchasing some big ticket items that make a royal yacht seem like small change (Nimrod, NHS IT system, a handful of banks, a couple of wars and the Olympics spring to mind). As one blogger put it...
One year's university tuition fee: £9,000
Weekly state pension for a married couple: £163
A new Royal yacht for the Queen: £60,000,000
Michael Gove's ideas: Priceless
So what are her options if the government does not think it is a good time to buy her a yacht? If Her Royal Highness did wish to have a yacht to use for her diamond jubilee celebrations then she has several options that may be better value.
One of the wackier ideas is to make use of a recently retired warship. Ark Royal for instance may make the world's best Royal Yacht. Her main hanger would allow large banquets to be held and the flight deck, with the help of some flower planters and a couple of marquees, could make for a garden party away from it all. Security aboard the ship could be rather tight as well given her miniguns, missiles and command centre. Although it would be one up on the Kennedy's and Roman Abramovich somehow I can't see it.
What I can see would be chartering a yacht for her needs. This would cost less in the short term and would keep down the costs of running one's vessel. The £60m that the press is talking about for a royal yacht would not stretch far but if she were to charter a yacht for £100,000 per week several times a year I am sure she could happily find the funds to do so. That would give her 600 weeks of luxury yachting which I think would be a marvelous way to start one's retirement.