Using his personal ship, Mora, William, Duke of Normandy, invaded Britain with a fl eet of similar ships. It was the fi rst of a long line of ships with Royal associations. The word `yacht' did not come into British usage until the seventeenth century, it being a Dutch word. King Charles II, while in exile in the Netherlands, spent much time sailing statenyachts and had one brought to England when he was crowned. This 100-ton vessel, with its gold decoration, was the fi rst proper British royal yacht and started a long line of eighty-three different vessels that fi nished with the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is now moored at Leith as a fl oating museum.
Alan Major was born in Gillingham and is the author of The Kentish Lights and Maritime Antiques - an Illustrated Dictionary. His research into the history of Royal Yachts has seen him correspond with numerous royal families and he has been given a privileged access into many collections to gather the images for Royal Yachts.