K1 Britannia is restoring the replica of a very British legacy, the King’s legendary yacht Britannia, and they need your help!
They are calling upon members of the public to come forward with any items that they might have acquired from the original yacht Britannia that was so loved by her owner King George V. In accordance with his wishes, Britannia was stripped of her spars and fittings and towed out to St. Catherine’s Deep in the early hours of 11 July, 1936 where she was scuttled by the Royal Navy and sent to rest beneath the waves.
But there was an auction of Britannia’s spars and fittings in Southampton on 24 June 1936, to raise £1,050 for the King George’s Fund for Sailors, and K1 Britannia is hoping that families may still have items from that auction in their possession.
K1 Britannia is looking for articles that were actually on the Britannia with their provenance from those who now own them. They have already received quite a few items such as a saloon clock and other very special items from the Britannia that were purchased at that auction and kept by the same families until now.
People may have relatives who worked on board the Britannia who were presented with items when they left the yacht, or own pieces taken from her, as she went through several refittings in her lifetime and her interior changed throughout the years with a mix of Victorian and Art Deco décor.
The interior of the replica of Britannia will be a fusion of these two periods giving the opportunity to bring the interiors to life with both of these styles in a complementary fashion.
In 1994 the only exact replica of the Britannia was commissioned and built in Russia. In 2009 her then owner, shipped her from Russia to Norway in 2009.
Then in late 2011 the Britannia was acquired by K1 Britannia Limited for the purpose of completing her rebuild so that she could be deployed as a flag ship for a whole range of charitable activities and projects around the world.
Britannia was towed from Norway and arrived in the Isle of Wight on 4 February 2012, where she was lifted and dry-docked in her cradle at Venture Quays, East Cowes. The reconstruction process is now well underway and Britannia is currently in her cradle at the Venture Quays shipyard, East Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.
What makes the project so unique is that following completion of the restoration of her rebuild, Britannia’s purpose is to be a flag ship for charity. With the goal of changing lives for good Britannia will lead a fleet of classic yachts into projects geared for war veterans, civil servants, disadvantaged youth and maritime education.
As a floating venue Britannia will also be gifted to 80-100 charities a year around the world for fundraising and other events. This will enable lesser-known charities to receive greater recognition and funding for their projects.
If you have an original item from HMY Britannia that you would like to gift or allow to live on board the new Britannia replica, please fill out the form on the K1 Britannia website.
Photo: The saloon clock on the original King's Yacht will reclaim its place on board when Britannia is launched.
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