The original royal yacht was seized by a controversial decision by the Tony Blair government in late 1997. Since then, the Britannia has operated as a tourist attraction in the port of Edinburgh.
The British royal family thus lost what was in effect one of their residences since the ship’s maiden voyage in 1954, when the Britannia moved Prince Charles and Princess Anne to Malta to join their parents at the end of his tour of the Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth II used it in 1959 to travel for the first time to Chicago, one of hundreds of official trips the Britannia made, while in 1981 Prince Charles and Princess Diana made it their honeymoon cruise. In 2011, the royal yacht had already ceased to function, but Queen Elizabeth II was still so fond of it that she wanted to celebrate on its deck the cocktail before the wedding of her eldest granddaughter, Zara Tindall.
According The TelegraphThe idea is that the new ship will also serve to transport the British royal family on their state trips or on some official visits within the United Kingdom.