A ketch-rigged royal yacht in a breeze
In the early years of the 18th century most of the smack-rigged royal yachts were converted to ketch rig and new ones were built with it. There were nearly twenty yachts in the service and they were used not only for royalty but to ferry government servants and other important people to and from the Continent, and elsewhere. This was often from Greenwich, which was their station in the Thames, where the Royal Hospital for Seamen provided a suitably grandiose point of embarkation and arrival. The yacht portrayed is possibly the 'Portsmouth'. It is flying the red ensign and a Union jack on the bowsprit, with a commissioning pennant, and has the royal coat of arms carved on the stern.
Johan van der Hagen
- Image reference: BHC0994
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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