Royal Yacht Britannia crew member recalls serving on board

Royal Yacht Britannia crew member recalls serving on board

 

 

From a panicked first encounter with the Queen to taking young princes William and Harry out fishing, Barry Spencer enjoyed many "great times" serving on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.
 
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Mr Spencer, of Portchester, Hampshire spent more than a decade on the yacht, taking the late Queen and members of the royal family on holidays, state visits and hosting international statesmen and women.
 
As a young marine engineer in 1985, he secured a place in the crew to help maintain and operate the small tender boats used to ferry members of the Royal Family to and from the yacht.
 
Each of Britannia's 20 officers and 220 yachtsmen, known as "Yotties", were personally selected by the commanding officer to serve on the vessel.
 
"I was very proud to be accepted to join - I was in all the papers at home." said Mr Spencer, originally from Bradford.
 
He vividly remembers the first time he encountered the monarch while working on deck.
 
"I was going about my duties and I glimpsed, out of the corner of my eye, the Queen looking out to sea.
 
"I went into a panic. 'Should I be here? Should I get out of the way?'. But it was too late, she was walking up the deck straight towards me."
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