The Royals and their love of luxury sailing adventures

Tim Johnson reflects on the sailing adventures loved by Royals

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I am the son of a naval Commodore. My father worked with NATO and ran international naval bases. I have always been fascinated by innovation in boat engineering and the draw of the ocean. There is no doubt I am happiest when I am on the water. 

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has given me a moment to reflect on my own links with maritime history and the royals that have inspired a new generation of yachting adventurers. 

We can all identify with the feeling of excitement as you step aboard a beautiful superyacht and prepare to sail towards the open ocean. For many people living in this increasingly intrusive world, leaving the entourage of paparazzi on the shores behind and sailing towards unbroken horizons is the only way to find peace and privacy. 

Yachting makes way for freedom, precious family time
and privacy that so many people with busy lives crave. 
St Barths Bucket Regatta Gustavia Harbor Image Credit Bucket Regatta Ed Gudenas


Coming together as a crew and pushing a racing yacht to the limits of what she was designed to do is thrilling. I served in the military for 14 years, and yachting allows me to reconnect with my love of physical challenges and teamwork. King Constantine of Greece, HM King Harald V of Norway, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and our new King Charles III have all won cups at some of the most prestigious superyacht regattas. We have chartered many ex-racing yachts for our clients looking for speed and a superyacht powered by the wind in her sails. 


Beyond the thrill of adventure, a luxury sailing holiday is one of the most peaceful and rejuvenating experiences. Throughout history, Royals have chosen elegant classic yachts for a moment of respite from the glare and pressure of civic duty. H.S.H. Prince Ranier and Princess Grace of Monaco were often guests on board M/Y Christina O, Aristotle Onassis’s 99m superyacht. 

And, of course, perhaps the most famous classic yacht of them all, HMS Britannia, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Britannia hosted dignitaries, served in humanitarian missions and was the vessel of choice for royal honeymoons for 44 years. Who can forget the image of the late British Monarch shedding a rare tear as her beloved yacht was decommissioned in 1997? Anyone who has owned a superyacht will understand the emotional tie between owner and boat – they are hard to say goodbye to. 


I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved at TJB Super Yachts in just under ten years. We are a boutique brokerage with a tech-savvy, energetic team of next-generation brokers. New technology. New builds. New sustainable solutions. It’s an exciting space for us to be in.

With the Monaco Yacht Show on the horizon and the largest fleet of new builds ever seen in the lineup, I’m looking ahead to the future of superyacht engineering and technology. But the timeless elegance of those classic yachts and navy ships will always have a place in my heart. 

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