February 2008

Corner For Kids
Annie Starts Her Diary
She’s On The Royal Yacht Britannia

By Caroline McWilliams
Glasgow, Scotland

Writer’s Note: As I read through the articles that I have written in previous “Corner for Kids” columns of Arizona Boating & Watersports, I’ve noticed that I would like to write a about something “bigger” and in a different way. For example, I was on the Royal Yacht Britannia ( the Queen’s decommissioned ship that is anchored just outside of Edinburgh.) during the Christmas vacation and a thought came to me. Why not write a diary but incorporate key features in it? So here it is — the first part of “The Diary of Annie.”

Day One

Hello, my name is Annie. Well, to be precise, Lady Anne Mary Maria Samuels-Stuart, and I am a third cousin three times removed to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

At this present day and time, I am a passenger on board The Royal Yacht Britannia. Two weeks ago I received a letter from the Queen asking me to join her on a cruise she was taking on Britannia.

So, here I am on the 21st June 1959 on my way to the Bahamas.

When I first stepped onto the ship in Portsmouth with my three suitcases, it was pouring. I was quickly ushered inside and down the stairs to a guest room on the main deck.

The room is a nice one. It has a flowery design all over. There is a bed, a drawer, a desk, and two chairs. Next door there is a bathroom with flowery tiles and pink towels.

I walked back through to the main room. I sat down in a chair, and as soon as I did, there was a knock on the door. I replied, “Come in!” A young girl entered.

In a Yorkshire accent, the girl said that she would be acting as my maid and that should I need anything, I could press “7” on my telephone. Only then did I notice that I had a telephone set with switches on it that had the names of staff members.

The maid left, and I decided to go exploring. First, I changed my wet clothes for a flowery dress to match the room. Then I walked up onto the deck, which is just outside the royal apartments — The Sun Deck by name.

I must have sat up there for about half an hour before a steward bid me to come inside. There was a storm up ahead.

I went inside and down two levels via The Grand Staircase. When back in my room, I looked around and found my suitcases had disappeared. That was no big deal as I knew that the Yorkshire maid must have unpacked my things and taken the cases to a storeroom.

As we sailed farther into deeper waters, the storm the steward had been talking about hit us.

Just now I am sitting at my desk being tossed around. (I can see why the furniture is nailed to the ground.) I am not a bit seasick. Just hungry.

It’s six thirty, and dinner is not being served until eight. At home we usually eat dinner about six so — wait, I’ve just remembered some biscuits I packed in my purse. Bye for today.

I have already written more of Annie’s diary, and I hope you will read it in upcoming issues of AZBW.