Boris Johnson has announced that a replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia will be built and operational within four years.
Downing Street last night unveiled the plan, which will see the new ship “host high level trade negotiations and trade shows and will sail all over the world promoting British interests” as a part of the country’s post-Brexit “open Britain” push.
The new £200m ship will replace the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was the 83rd and last last royal yacht after Tony Blair opted to not build a replacement.
The Times reports that Johnson wanted to name the new yacht after Prince Philip, however Buckingham Palace are set to rebuke the offer.
A royal source said it would be “too grand” a symbol in the modern age and that “it is not something we have asked for”.
Downing Street said the new ship’s role will be “distinct from that of any previous national flagship” and will dock at countries that are due for prime ministerial visits.
“This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation,” Johnson said.
“Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.”
Construction of the ship is expected to begin within the next six months, after the tendering process for the design and construction of the ship begins shortly.
It is intended that the ship will showcase the latest in green technology and be operational for 30 years.