Prince Charles and Prince William ‘will NOT use £200m Royal Yacht Britannia for family trips’, says Palace insider – as MoD ‘threatens Boris it will scrap new Navy ship or F-35s’ if forced to foot bill
- Royal sources claim Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge ‘do not want’ ship
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been embroiled in rows over the £200m cost
- It will be first national flagship since Britannia, decommissioned in 1997
Prince Charles, Prince William and other senior members of the Royal family will not be able to use the new Royal Yacht Britannia for family trips following a row in Whitehall over the cost.
The national flagship has cost the government £200m, and will be used as a ship rather than a luxury yacht, aimed at boosting Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit vision for the UK as a global trading nation.
But, a palace insider has claimed that the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge have no interest in the ship following a row between number 10 and the Ministry of Defence and the departments of business and trade, with the later reluctant to contribute.
An artist’s impression of the new national flagship which has not yet been built
Mr Johnson’s spending on the ship has come under fire in recent weeks, most recently by former Tory chancellor Ken Clarke who branded it ‘silly populist nonsense’.
Lord Clarke’s criticism came as official figures showed that government borrowing stood at £24.3 billion in May – down from £43.8 billion a year earlier at the height of the pandemic, but still the second highest figure for the month on record and £18.9 billion more than in 2019.
The Conservative peer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the new vessel is a ‘complete waste of time, silly populist nonsense’ and ‘we have no money’ for it.
But, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock backed the Prime Minister’s plans and argued that the ship would ‘pay for itself many times over’.
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge do not want the ship, claims a palace source
The Royal Yacht was particularly important to the Royal Family, who used it as a private getaway for holidays and honeymoons for more than 40 years.
‘The amount of investment that you can get in from the rest of the world by showing the best of Britain in harbours the world over is very, very significant,’ he said.
A palace insider claimed that ‘no one’ at the palace wants the vessel.
‘Charles doesn’t want it,’ they told The Sunday Times. ‘William doesn’t want it. He has no interest in naval things at all. All this controversy just puts them off even more.’
It is believed the royals will use the ship to promote trade, but not privately as it previously did with the former Royal Yacht Britannia, decommissioned in 1997.
Senior government sources have claimed that the Ministry of Defence have annoyed Mr Johnson with their criticism and continuing to refuse to foot the bill.
It will be the first national flagship since Britannia (pictured), which was decommissioned in 1997, but the new vessel will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht
It is thought that the MoD is threatening to scrap new navy ships or F-35s jets to pay for the ship.
‘Boris is furious about the whole thing,’ a source told The Sunday Times. ‘He loves the plan.’
Construction of the new ship is expected to begin as soon as 2022 and it will enter service within the next four years.
The tendering process for the design and construction of the vessel will launch shortly, with an emphasis on showcasing British design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.
It is expected to be in service for about 30 years, and will be crewed by the Royal Navy.
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