An appeal has been launched to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II by purchasing a Yacht for use by the Queen and which will also serve as a fundraising platform for over 600 charities and organisations of which she is Patron.
The Jubilee Yacht Appeal is being run by a group of volunteers including business and technology people who are donating their time and services. The Appeal Director is Elaine Skinner, one of the founders of Giveonthemobile, the mobile donation service for charities. The service is being used to handle donations to the appeal, and the company has elected not to make any commission deductions for the appeal.
Ms Skinner said: "We fondly remember HMY Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997. A Diamond Jubilee Yacht dedicated to HM The Queen and her charities would be a celebration of her achievements, a beacon of hope and reminder of what we can achieve as a nation when we all pull together".
The organisers are inviting everybody in the UK and the Commonwealth to embrace the appeal using mobile giving and give a minimum £1 donation. They are keen for it to be seen as a gift by the people, rather than major businesses or organisations, to thank the Queen for her service.
Access to the royal yacht could prove valuable to the Queen's charities. It could be used to host various fundraising events.
The appeal originated in January 2012, when Michael Gove MP's proposal for a new Royal Yacht to mark the up-coming Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen was attacked in the media and in Parliament. The ensuing debate centred on whether taxpayers' money should be used to fund such a Jubilee gift. The Government distanced themselves from any taxpayer funded proposal but welcomed the idea of funding a new Royal Yacht with private donations.
This explains the choice element of the appeal - "Yacht or Not". People wishing to contribute to the Yacht can donate to that purpose, and those who simply wish to donate to the Queen's charities can do so directly.
The Jubilee Yacht Appeal team hopes to complete the fundraising within the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year. The money will be used to buy and refit an existing yacht, rather than pay for a new one to be built.
There are now three campaigns to provide the Queen with a Royal Yacht.