His Majesty King George V was a sailing and racing enthusiast. His beloved racing yacht “Britannia” was built in 1893 for Queen Victorias son Prince Albert Edward.. She served two Kings with a legendary racing career, King Albert Edward, and his son, King George V.
In 1920, King George V triggered the revival of Big Class Yachts by announcing that Britannia would be refit for racing. Although Britannia was the oldest yacht in the circuit, regular updates to her rig kept her a most successful racer throughout the 1920s. In 1931, she was converted to the J-Class with a Bermuda rig. During her 40 year racing career she won 231 races and took another 129 flags.
King George V’s dying wish was for his beloved yacht to follow him to the grave, so upon his death in 1936, in honor of the late Kings wishes Britanna was towed out to St. Catherine’s Deep near the Isle of Wight and sent to rest beneath the waves, with a simple garland of flowers placed on her stem-head.