Prince Philip's classic motorboat sells for £69,000 at auction

Prince Philip’s classic motorboat, which was carried on the Royal Yacht Britannia and driven by Princess Diana, sells for £69,000 at auction

  • Prince Philip owned the Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout from new
  • The 1956 motorboat was carried on the Royal Yacht Britannia for over 10 years
  • It was immortalised in a 1957 photo showing the Duke and Charles taking a spin
  • The boat sold at auction for £69,000 during a Bonham’s sale in Chichester
  • A classic motorboat owned and driven by Prince Philip for more than 30 years has sold at auction for a staggering £69,000.

    The 1956 red, white and blue Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout was valued at around £30,000, but a bidding war saw the price soar to more than double the estimate during the Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting in Chichester yesterday.

    Prince Philip’s boat, which was carried on the Royal Yacht Britannia for more than a decade, was a 13ft long three-seater aluminium craft.  

    It was one of 607 produced, was powered by a Ford 100E 1,172cc side-valve engine and had a top speed of 34mph. 

    Prince Philip takes an eight-year-old Prince Charles (both pictured) out for a spin in the boat in 1957 on the Isle of Wight

    Prince Philip takes an eight-year-old Prince Charles (both pictured) out for a spin in the boat in 1957 on the Isle of Wight

    An image from the series of photos, which show the royals getting towed in the boat, which broke down during their trip, was used on a thank you card issued by Prince Charles in response to a message of sympathy following his father's death last year

    An image from the series of photos, which show the royals getting towed in the boat, which broke down during their trip, was used on a thank you card issued by Prince Charles in response to a message of sympathy following his father’s death last year

    The boat, a 1956 red, white and blue Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout, was one of only 607 made of its kind

    The boat, a 1956 red, white and blue Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout, was one of only 607 made of its kind

    The Duke of Edinburgh owned it from new and was photographed driving it at Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight, with the eight-year-old Prince Charles as a passenger.   

    It was moved to the Balmoral Estate in 1967 where it was used for water-skiing and later reputedly driven by Princess Diana.

    The vessel was decommissioned in 1987 and was offered in ‘good’ unrestored condition with its original engine.

    Albatross speedboats were popular with the rich and famous of the period including Aristotle Onassis, Brigitte Bardot and Prince Rainier of Monaco. 

    The Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout (pictured) was popular with the wealthy of the time, counting Aristotle Onassis, Brigitte Bardot and Prince Rainier of Monaco among its fans

    The Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout (pictured) was popular with the wealthy of the time, counting Aristotle Onassis, Brigitte Bardot and Prince Rainier of Monaco among its fans

    It was moved to the Balmoral Estate in 1967. It was used for waterskiing, and is believed to have been driven by Princess Diana

    It was moved to the Balmoral Estate in 1967. It was used for waterskiing, and is believed to have been driven by Princess Diana

    Prince Philip's boat was described as 'a unique and fascinating piece of royal history' by Tim Schofield from Bonhams, which sold the item at auction

    Prince Philip’s boat was described as ‘a unique and fascinating piece of royal history’ by Tim Schofield from Bonhams, which sold the item at auction

    The Mark III model Philip received was an improved version of the Albatross motorboat he had been issued by them the year before.

    The motorboat went under the hammer with London-based auctioneers Bonhams, selling for over double the £30,000 estimate.

    Tim Schofield, Head of Department, Bonhams Motor Cars UK, said: ‘This really is a unique and fascinating piece of royal history.

    ‘We were privileged to be presenting it at our Goodwood sale.’

    The famous image of the Duke taking the boat for a spin with eight-year-old Charles was featured on a thank you card issued by the Prince of Wales in response to a message of sympathy following his father’s death last year.

    The sale of the boat came a day after the one-year anniversary of Prince Philip's death. Clarence House marked the date by sharing this image of the Duke on Instagram

    The sale of the boat came a day after the one-year anniversary of Prince Philip’s death. Clarence House marked the date by sharing this image of the Duke on Instagram

    Social media commentators took to Instagram to share their condolences on the first anniversary of the death of Prince Philip

    Social media commentators took to Instagram to share their condolences on the first anniversary of the death of Prince Philip

    Over the weekend, the royal family commemorated one year since the death of the Duke, who died on April 9, 2021.

    Clarence House marked the date by sharing an image of Prince Philip, alongside a caption that said: ‘Remembering The Duke of Edinburgh today, one year since his passing.’