“Bluebottle” K192 in full Regalia in tribute to Prince Philip.

Cannons roared from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes yesterday (April 10th) and around the world in tribute to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who sadly passed away aged 99.

As crowds gathered in limited numbers due to covid, to pay their respects, it would not have gone unnoticed to the people of Cowes, Isle of Wight, that the International Dragon “Bluebottle” K192 in full regalia sat proudly beside the R.Y.S. also in mourning.

In 1948 Princess Elizabeth (before she became Queen) and Prince Philip “Duke of Edinburgh” were presented “Bluebottle” as a Wedding present, built by Camper & Nicholson and paid for by the members of the Island Sailing Club in Cowes.

Prince Philip helming “Bluebottle” K192 (with a young Prince Charles as crew).

Although Prince Philip did not sail her extensively, she was raced by a number of crews and even won a Bronze Medal at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. “Bluebottle” then spent 40 years as a sail training vessel at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, until she was loaned to the Maritime Museum in Cornwall.

After receiving “Bluebottle” in 1948 Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) presented the Edinburgh Cup in 1949 to the British Dragon Class for the winner of the annual National Championship. Indeed “Bluebottle” was to play a part in this competition under various sailing masters. In 1954 Lt. Commander Hewitt finished 2nd, Graham Mann finished 2nd again in 1956 and in 1960 “Bluebottle” finished 3rd this time with Ross Coles as skipper.

“Bluebottle” today after a superb rebuild by David Heritage.

Recently, “Bluebottle” has undergone an extensive rebuild in the experienced hands of David Heritage Racing Yachts, in Cowes. It is such a pity Prince Philip will not get to see his beautiful Dragon sail once again up in Scotland this year at the 2021 Edinburgh Cup.  His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh….  R.I.P.