Sun Sets on Britannia

  • Share
  • Read Later
PORTSMOUTH, England: Never mind Diana. The Royals are able to show their emotions when it comes to losing the things that are really important to them like the 44-year-old Royal Yacht Britannia. In contrast to the studiously stony faces shown at September's funeral, Thursday saw Elizabeth, Philip and the kids practically awash with tears. Princess Anne got out her hankie, the Queen's chin was seen to tremble, and her husband wiped his eyes for perhaps the first time in public at a ceremony to say good-bye to their magnificent floating holiday home.

Such a scene may not play well in the press, but it's not hard to see why the emotions differed so greatly from the Princess' farewell. As far as the Queen was concerned, Diana brought nothing but a decade of trouble to the House of Windsor whereas Britannia dutifully ferried their Royal Highnesses around the shrinking Empire, and subsequently the Commonwealth, for as long as she's been on the throne. And who wouldn't feel their heartstrings plucked by the strains of the now ever-so-poignant lyric "Britannia Rules the Waves?"