Some campaigners and Tory MPs are already pushing for it to be named in honour of Prince Philip, who died last month, in recognition of his Royal Navy career, and the fact that he had a hand in designing Royal Yacht Britannia, to which the new ship is a successor. However, a dispute is apparently brewing, with Buckingham Palace seemingly not keen for the Duke’s name to be used to advance Mr Johnson’s agenda.
Specifically, one senior royal source told The Sunday Times the ship was regarded as “too grand” a symbol to be used by the monarchy in the modern age.
They added: “It is not something we have asked for.”
The Palace has not been involved in the commissioning process at any stage.
The Government intends to build the ship in the UK, at a reported cost of up to £200 million.
Mr Johnson said: “This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation.
“Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.”
The ship will host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit.
It will be the first national flagship since Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997.
Since it was taken out of service, HMY Britannia has been berthed at…