Yesterday we reported that David Cameron had thrown out a suggestion that a new Royal Yacht, funded by the British taxpayer, be given to the Queen as a jubilee gift from the nation. The ridiculous cost of such a yacht was disproportionate and in such an economic climate rightly dismissed as not desirable, nor appropriate.
However, within a short space of time the UK PM was saying that he quite liked the idea of a new Royal Yacht that was funded by the private sector. Labour decommissioned the aged Royal Yacht in 1997. Even back then cost was an issue. At that time it was the proposed cost to the nation to renovate the yacht which was at the heart of the problem.
Media sources today are reporting though that whilst Prince Charles and Princess Anne would have no problem with a privately funded yacht the Queen might.
Apparently Tory cabinet minister Michael Heseltine first raised the idea of a privately funded Royal Yacht, in the early 1990's. That is at a time when a Conservative government was in office. The idea was not liked by the Queen. She feared that Virgin boss Richard Branson might win a tender for such a yacht and it could then have had "Virgin" emblazoned on its public face.
Although it seems unlikely that the Queen will want a privately funded yacht many feel she may agree this time. As her era on the throne of England begins to draw to a close a new royal yacht will benefit the future monarch. Perhaps the Queen should agree now in case the offer does not come round again. With so many UK businesses going to the wall investors could soon be thin on the ground. Presumably safeguards as to which company sponsors the Royal Yacht and whether advertising slogans would be allowed could be sorted out before work begins.
After all VIRGIN may not be ideal, but what about Durex?