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Photo album featuring Prince Philip on the royal yacht Britannia in 1959 turns up at Lymington’s Wick Antiques





A PHOTO album which captures Prince Philip during a solo round-the-world cruise on the royal yacht Britannia in 1959 has turned up at a Lymington antique shop.

Compiled by a member of the royal yacht Britannia crew, it includes never-before-seen photos of the Duke of Edinburgh visiting some of the remotest islands on earth.

He had undertaken a four-month journey on the yacht which was launched in 1953 and was retired in 1997.

Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques with the photo album
Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques with the photo album

Starting in Portsmouth, Britannia went around the Mediterranean before going through the Suez Canal.

The yacht then sailed to what was then Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and around a number of South Pacific islands.

Photos includes ones of the Prince being taken for a trip in an ancient sailing boat during a visit to the Solomon Islands, and at the tiller of a native racing canoe off the island of Tarawa.

In one picture he is being carried aloft by natives on the island of Vaitupu before being served a feast of roast sucking pig and breadfruit.

Pictures also include ones of the Tench Island where the Duke had wanted a picnic. He thought it was deserted and was shocked to be greeted by the 53 natives.

The album is being offered for sale by Lymington’s Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques, for £1,250.

He has included details of it in his new book ‘Britain on the high Seas – War and Wealth.”

Charles said: “Flicking through this album is a remarkable journey back in time, and the contrast between the Duke in his white uniform and the often grass-skirted South Pacific islanders is clear.

“But so are the smiles on the faces of everyone as the different cultures meet in locations right around the world.

“There are two photographers listed as crew – both ‘Leading Airmen’, A Masters and T Roberts – and the album is likely to have been put together by one of them.

“It is neatly captioned and includes a map of the voyage that went right around the world.

“There are some fascinating photos of what happened when Britannia passed over the equator.

“The crew are in bizarre fancy dress and the Duke appears to be joining in with the traditional ‘crossing the line’ ceremony.”



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