Wednesday 9th September 2015
Today we slept in and took things slowly, finally jumping back on the double decker back to Edinburgh where the Queen herself was also coming by train to reopen the Borders Railway line. We didn’t actually see her at Waverley Station but we did catch a bus from Waverley not long after she left to do the opening. We drank her health on the former royal yacht Brittania which is moored these days at the Edinburgh docks and can be toured at length.
Prior to the Brittania we wandered around the Scottish National Art Gallery which has an excellent collection of all periods of Western Art majoring obviously in Scottish art but also a very strong collection of Dutch, Renaissance and other European art. As ever artistic tastes vary. I include some of my favourites from Edinburgh. An unknown Flemish artist, Raphael, Da Vinci, Verrochio, Jan Steen, Tiepolo and Turner.
Unknown Dutch artist C15th beautiful Madonna and Child with leaves painted in such a way as they look like needlepoint.
Verrochio C15th Italian: The Virgin adoring the Christ Child. This was one of Ruskin’s personally owned and favourite paintings donated to the Edinburgh Gallery
Raphael: The Holy Family..interesting to me because Joseph is hardly ever seen in art. On loan from the Bridgewater collection
Raphael “The Bridgewater Madonna” …obviously from the Bridgewater collection on loan to Edinburgh. Apparently Raphael painted two different backgrounds, one a landscape and eventually removed both and it is all black!
Leonardo Da Vinci: The Madonna of the Yard Winder, painted for Floriband Robertal, a French Minister interested in all things Italian.
Jan Steen 1670: A School for Boys and Girls! I hope my classes in term 4 do not look like this!
Tiepolo: The Finding of Moses, almost humorous in his use of contemporary comic faces known to some.
John Turner: Somer Hill
We then took the No 22 bus to the Docks to find the Brittania. It is an amazing exhibition and includes all levels of activity on the boat from the engine rooms to Queen’s personal apartments. An independent trust now runs the Brittania and they have a working staff including full time chefs who run high class business dinners for profit. Throughout there are many photos of royal events involving the yacht as well as the royal racing yacht which was raced with success by Prince Phillip and has now been completely restored. The royal barge is also stored in the same area. We finished the afternoon in the tea room on the top deck looking out over the water. The weather held and it was a very pleasant way to celebrate the longest ever reign of a British monarch.
Ann on a boat! actually a boat severely anchored in three places for ever. Check the new coat!
Britain casual deck for games, sunbathing, even a portable swimming pool apparently
More royal boats!
Close up of the royal lounge room carpet on the Brittania ..great taste..same Persian carpet as Prideaux Castle in Berwick!
The bar in the Royals’ sunroom…some good stuff here!
The ante -room to the royal lounge room ..together they could entertain 200 people. This set up is for the card players
The royal dining room set for 56!
The racing yacht which won many races with the Duke and Charles at the helm at various times
These are shots of the spit and polish royal engine room for Brian Brown, former Chief Engineer on many a Merchant Navy and Shell ocean going ship for many many years.
Brittania …how the Junior rating sailors were cared for; they also did not have to wear their hats on board to avoid the royals having to return salutes; whenever a royal appeared they had to stand perfectly still and look straight ahead and all their deck cleaning etc had to be done by 8.00am
Just a few knots a sailor needs to know
The Officer’s lounge
The Queen’s Rolls Royce travelled with them to other lands. the bumper had to be removed to get it into the space
Security officers bar …they had spirits, the sailors only beer. But officers had to pay for their drinks
The Old Brittania donger!
The Royal Barge..still in use from time to time I think
A Toast on the Brittania to the longest reigning monarch of England on our last day in Edinburgh and second last in Europe. We still seem to be friends…quite amazing really!