The Association of Royal Yachtsmen
The Association of Royal Yachtsmen, ‘Yotties’, was founded in 1989 by Albert ‘Dixie’ Deane MBE, RVM.
It is dedicated to bringing together many of the estimated 3,296 ‘Yotties’ who served on board Britannia between 14 January, 1954 and 11 December, 1997.
The Association holds an annual dinner/dance in late November/early December, together with a biennial Reunion Dinner usually in the Portsmouth area in the “odd” year.
Whether you were an Officer (488), Rating (2,634), or RM Bandsman (174), you are always welcome.
In addition each year ‘Yotties’ return to work for one week, alongside Britannia’s new ‘crew’ and undertake a wide range of maintenance duties. They also keep visitors enthralled with stories of the good old days on board the Royal Yacht.
Furthermore, annually on Remembrance Sunday a Division of up to 30 Yotties congregate in London to march down Whitehall to the Cenotaph as part of the National tribute to those who have fallen in conflict.
It is believed that the Association of Royal Yachtsmen has the largest “single ship” membership of any Naval organisation.
It is understood that it is the only association or organisation having HM The Queen as Patron and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as President.
Uniquely also, the Royal Yacht tie carries two crowns, HM The Queen’s Royal Crown and the Naval (Roebuck) Crown, again a privilege not granted to any other.
The Yacht has a unique history for she was the only vessel not required to display a name or pennant number on her hull or stern and was easily the most famous and most recognisable vessel ever to put to sea.
The Yacht sailed a massive total of 1,087,623 nautical miles during her loyal service to the Monarchy, the Country and the Royal Navy with ‘Yotties’ always observing their mantra:
“The only way to achieve excellence is by practicing excellence”
Alongside Britannia in Leith stands a bronze statue, commissioned by the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust as a tribute to the Officers and Royal Yachtsmen who served on board.
The statue’s model is Ellis Victor ‘Norrie’ Norrell MVO RVM, (Far Left of Photo) Britannia’s longest serving Royal Yachtsman serving continuously for 34 years, from January 1954 to September 1988.