While the Queen was preparing for her day on the Thames in the 1,000 boat Jubilee flotilla I was among a group of journalists invited to dinner on board HMS Royal Yacht Britannia, now permanently moored at the Edinburgh port of Leith.
Comfortable rather than luxurious, the Britannia was one of the Queen's favourite get-away-from-it-all retreats and it is easy to see why. Her bedroom was small, with only a tiny single bed and no room for visitors ---there was only one stateroom with a double bed----and her sun lounge opening onto a private deck was dominated by a well-stocked drinks cabinet. "There were always drinks everywhere on board," one of the former retainers, now a Britannia guide, told me.
the Grand Salon
The candlelit banquet, with a main course of sea bass, was lengthy and leisurely with platoons of waitresses refilling wine glasses through the evening. It must have been good to be Queen on the high seas.