Queen Elizabeth II traveled the world on the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1953 up until 1977. It's now a museum in Scotland.
Left: Serge Lemoine/Getty Images. Right: John Stillwell/PA Images/Getty Images

For 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia carried the Queen of England and members of the royal family around the world.

The Royal Yacht Britannia leaves Portsmouth with the royal family on August 7, 1997.

Built in 1953, it logged over 1 million miles and became known as the Queen's "floating palace."

The Queen cuts a ribbon in the engine of the Royal Yacht Britannia, watched by Prince Philip, on February 27, 1994, to mark the ship's one millionth mile.

The five-story ship was part royal residence and part British Royal Navy ship, with a full-time staff of more than 240 royal yachtsmen and officers.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arriving in San Diego on February 26, 1983.

Source: Royal Yacht Britannia

The Queen traveled on the ship for tours abroad, during which she would meet with dignitaries both on land and onboard.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip watch entertainments aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia upon their arrival in Fiji during their royal tour on February 16, 1977.

She also used it for vacations like the royal family's annual summer cruise to the Western Isles of Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, and Sarah Ferguson with Princess Beatrice depart Portsmouth on the Royal Yacht Britannia for the Western Isles cruise on August 4, 1989.

Source: Royal Yacht Britannia

The Queen once said that "Britannia is the one place where I can truly relax."

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia during a visit to Kuwait in February 1979.

Four royal couples used the ship for their honeymoons, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the Royal Yacht Britannia at the start of their honeymoon cruise in August 1981.

In 1997, the Labour government decommissioned the ship, citing costs as a primary reason. The Britannia cost around £11 million, or R220 million in today's rands, to run each year, Reuters reported.

Queen Elizabeth II wipes a tear from her eye at the decommissioning ceremony for the Royal Yacht Britannia on December 11, 1997, in Portsmouth, UK.

While the Queen has yet to build a new yacht, that wasn't the end of the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip leave the Royal Yacht Britannia for the last time on December 11, 1997.

One year later, it opened as a public museum in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed in Leith, Scotland.
Courtesy Royal Yacht Britannia

The ship closed to visitors during the pandemic, but is set to reopen on May 12.

The bow of the Royal Yacht Britannia is painted deep blue and is adorned with the royal crest.
Courtesy Royal Yacht Britannia

Visitors will be able to step into spaces like the teak-lined Sun Lounge, the Queen's favourite room where she took her breakfast and afternoon tea.

The Sun Lounge was the Queen's favorite room.
Courtesy Marc Millar / Royal Yacht Britannia

The Queen's bedroom, featuring a vanity table, writing desk, and twin bed, is also on display. She and Prince Philip slept separately while onboard the Britannia.

The Queen's bedroom has floral decor.
Courtesy Marc Millar / Royal Yacht Britannia

The largest room on the ship is the state dining room, where the Queen entertained dignitaries like Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. The room could fit 56 guests.

The state dining room.
Courtesy Royal Yacht Britannia

Nearby is the state drawing room, which served as a place for the family to relax as well as a reception area for guests.

The state drawing room.
Courtesy Marc Millar / Royal Yacht Britannia

Towards the front of the ship are the rooms where the staff lived and operated, like the 24-hour laundry room. Here, yachtsmen and officers would change outfits up to six times per day.

The laundry room was open all day.
Courtesy Royal Yacht Britannia

The former royal yachtsmen, known as "yotties," now reunite annually to help maintain the ship.

Former royal yachtsmen gather on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Courtesy Royal Yacht Britannia

The clocks on the Royal Yacht Britannia don't get touched, however. They are permanently stopped at 3:01 pm, the time when the Queen stepped off the ship for the last time.

All clocks onboard are permanently frozen at 3:01 pm.
Courtesy Marc Millar / Royal Yacht Britannia

Prince Philip once said that the ship occupies a unique place in royal history. "Almost every previous sovereign has been responsible for building a church, a castle, a palace, or just a house," he said, according to the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. "The only comparable structure in the present reign is Britannia."

Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip arrive on the island of Jersey on the Royal Yacht Britannia during a visit to the Channel Islands on May 25, 1989.

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