Flag Officer Commanding, Royal Yachts

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Office of the Flag Officer, Royal Yachts
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Department of Admiralty, Navy Department
Reports toFirst Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief, Fleet
NominatorSecretary of State for Defence
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 1–4 years)
Inaugural holderVice-Admiral Sir John R.T. Fullerton

The Flag Officer, Royal Yachts, (FORY) also styled Flag Officer Commanding Royal Yachts [1] was a senior Royal Navy post that existed from 1884 to 1997.


Royal yachts have been a feature of the Monarchy since at least 1660, [2] during this period command of the Royal Yacht was usually held by a captain. [3] The office of Flag Officer, Royal Yachts was established by letters patent on 15 October 1884. Royal Yachts was an independent command, administered personally by the Flag Officer, Royal Yachts. It was standard protocol for the (FORY) to be appointed as an extra equerry to the Monarch and, as such, was a member of the royal household.[4] The post existed until 1997 when it was abolished as separate command.


At various times included:[5]

  • Acts as the host at official receptions on behalf of the Monarch when the royal yacht visits countries when no member of the royal family is embarked.
  • Exercises tactical control over Royal Navy, Commonwealth and foreign warships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary forming the Royal Squadron when the Monarch or other members of the royal family are embarked.
  • Hosts receptions on behalf of the Monarch during sea days or commercial seminars held on board in support of British industry. These events bring FORY into direct and frequent contact with Heads of State and Government, and captains of industry.
  • Keeps the First Sea Lord and Commander in Chief, Fleet informed of all plans in relation to HM Royal Yachts programme.
  • Responsible for HM Royal Yachts safe and efficient operation at all times. and for the detailed planning of its programme.

Note: Royal Squadron should not be confused with Royal Yacht Squadron.

Office Holders

Post holders included:[6]

Note: Post holders sometimes styled as Admiral, Vice-Admiral, Rear-Admiral or Commodore Commanding Royal Yachts or HM Yachts


  1. "Flag Officer Royal Yachts (Hansard, 25 January 1994), vol 236 cc171-2W". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Hansard, 25 January 1994. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. Davies, Caroline (4 September 2015). "From tartan to tippling: A to Z of things two queens have in common". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  3. Barker, Matthew Henry (1844). The old sailor's jolly boat, steered by M.H. Barker. Nottingham and Leicester: Allen and Allen. p. 347.
  4. Template:Citeweb
  5. "Flag Officer Royal Yachts (Hansard, 25 January 1994), vol 236 cc171-2W". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Hansard, 25 January 1994. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  6. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, p.100, April 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.


  • Hansard (1994) "Flag Officer Royal Yachts, vol 236 cc171-2W". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Hansard.
  • Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. (2016) "H.M. Yachts (Royal Navy)". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell, England, UK.
  • Mackie, Colin (2018). "British Armed Forces: Royal Navy Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Scotland, UK.
  • Naval History Society (1983) "The Royal Yacht Britannia: Naval Historical Review". www.navyhistory.org.au..