Prince Philip’s old speedboat, featured in a famous vintage photograph, is up for sale



A classic motorboat first owned by Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s late husband of 73 years and a keen sailor, will go on auction in the UK next month.


Philip drove the 1956 Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout for more than 30 years, according to auction house Bonhams, and the speedboat was carried aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia for more than 10 years.

The boat featured in a now famous photograph of Philip and his first son Prince Charles taking part in a 1958 race at Cowes on the Isle of Wight: the photo was used in thank you cards issued by Charles in response to the messages of condolence he received. after Philip’s death last year.

In 1967 the boat was moved to Balmoral Estate, the Queen’s private holiday home in Scotland, where the late Princess Diana would have taken it, according to Bonhams.

The Albatros was retired in 1987 and remains in good unrestored condition, according to Bonhams, and it retains its original Ford 100E engine.

The auction will take place on April 10 in Chichester, England, where the speedboat is expected to fetch between around $26,000 and $39,000.

Albatross Marine boats were popular with a distinguished clientele, according to Bonhams, and celebrities who owned the boats included French actress Brigitte Bardot, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and Prince Rainier of Monaco, who owned them. six at a time.

Surprising fact

There is a significant market for royal memorabilia. Last year, a slice of wedding cake from Charles and Diana’s nuptials that had been frozen sold for $2,565 at auction.

Key Context

Much of Philip’s life and legacy is tied to boats. When he was under two, Philip was smuggled aboard HMS Calypso to escape his native Corfu, Greece, after his uncle King Constantine I of Greece was forced to abdicate following the war. Greek-Turkish. Philip then served in the Royal British Navy for almost 14 years. In July 1939, while still a cadet at Britain’s Royal Naval College, he was assigned to escort 13-year-old Elizabeth, then only a princess, with her sister Princess Margaret and their parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during a royal visit. at the naval academy. It is widely believed that the meeting sparked Elizabeth’s interest in Philip, and the two were married at Westminster Abbey in 1947. Prior to Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, Philip’s naval career took the couple in Malta, where between 1949 and 1951 he was stationed as an officer. Villa Guardamangia, their home in Malta, is the only property outside the UK where a British monarch has resided.

Further reading

‘Beloved husband’: A look at Prince Philip’s life as the monarch’s oldest husband, after his death at 99 (Forbes)

Will you join the retrotastic star rush? (FinancialTimes)


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