Share

Don’t buy HM a yacht. It’ll ruin the surprise

Don’t buy HM a yacht. It’ll ruin the surprise
Blogs

Don’t buy HM a yacht. It’ll ruin the surprise 1

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 29 May 2012

The campaign to raise £60m to buy HM The Queen “and her charities” a yacht for the Diamond Jubilee is a waste of philanthropy and bad-present-giving practice, says Celina Ribeiro.

I’ve cancelled my holiday leave for the Diamond Jubilee weekend, so I’m probably just all-round bitter. It could well be the fact that I am hanging about Blighty for the four-day weekend that makes me believe that is a waste of money and time. It could be, but I don’t think so, because getting the public to each throw in a few quid to buy the Queen a yacht for her anniversary is a waste of money and time.

The first, most obvious issue at play is: why are we telling the Queen what we’re getting her, guys? You’re ruining the surprise. Imagine the awkwardness when, come the big moment, we get HM to cover her eyes and sneakily moor a yacht nearby and she is forced to pretend she didn’t know what’s coming. It’s destined to be an anti-climax.

Now this gift is planned to be shared by the Queen and the 600 charities of which she is patron. The second worst thing about giving a gift is to expect that the recipient is not going to use it. With 600 charities potentially lined up to try to host fundraising galas on said super yacht – and keeping in mind that there are typically only 365 days in a year – we can suspect two things: that these charities will likely get to use this yacht maybe once every two years; secondly, that the Queen may well barely get a look in.  

So look, I am an Antipodean republican. But I’m all for Union Jack bunting, street parties, patriotic merchandising and flotillas on the Thames. I’m in. That stuff is all super great.

I just think that the Queen probably doesn’t need a yacht to be thanked for her service to the Commonwealth. The castles, the tax receipts, the jewellery, the pre-existing sea vehicles probably suffice in material terms. I’d expect that millions of people turning up to cheer your cavalcade as you pass would feel pretty rewarding.

Elaine Skinner, chief exec of giveonthemobile and the Jubilee Yacht Appeal Director, said, “A Diamond Jubilee Yacht dedicated to HM The Queen and her charities would be a celebration of her achievements, a beacon of hope and a reminder of what we can achieve as a nation when we all pull together.”

I’m not sure about that. If the country rallied together this year and raised an additional £60m for our other elderly people, all of its citizens who perhaps have not delivered quite the scope of national service as the Queen but who were also not born into the role, in order to raise their standards of living, now that would be a beacon of hope and a reminder of what we can achieve as a nation united.

To have a country in which all 86-year-olds live in dignity I think would be quite a gift to the Queen, and her subjects to boot.

The Jubilee Yacht Appeal is offering punters to text 'NOT' (as opposed to YACHT) to donate to the Queen's charities rather than the Queen's yacht. However, I'll be doing the former for the above reasons and because £60m seems rather steep for a yacht. This Norman Foster-designed 'super yacht' went for a neat $24m and it looks perfectly nice. 

Jo Wood
29 May 2012

I thought this must be a delayed April Fool story when I read it.

Of course the Queen doesn't need a yacht, and I'm sure that if she wanted one, she could afford to buy one.

Even if the scheme succeeded, how many charities could afford to run the yacht even supposing they could justify the expenditure ?

I'm sure that we could all think of better ways to spend £60,000 let alone £60 million.

My cynical side wonders if the proposers of this appeal are seeking an 'honour' for their efforts.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Celina Ribeiro

Celina Ribeiro is the commissioning editor of Fundraising Magazine and contributor to Civil Society News.

Follow Celina @Celina_Ribeiro_

Celina Ribeiro (37) Niki May Young (22) Kirsty Weakley (17) Jenna Pudelek (9) Michael Naidu (7) Andrew Chaggar (7) David Philpott (7) Leon Ward (7) David Ainsworth (7) Emily Corfe (7) Less +++ More +++

A culture of arrogance was at the root of Kids Company’s woes

26 Aug 2015

Kids Company received enough unrestricted income that it could have built up sufficient reserves to see...

The questions we should be asking about charity finance

17 Aug 2015

Charity Finance Group chief executive Caron Bradshaw examines what the closure of Kids Company means to...

Investment blog: Rising interest rates - Does your bond fund fit the bill?

11 Aug 2015

Richard Macey, director of charities at M&G Investments, looks at five factors to help assess the...

Trustees must always be thinking about risk

25 Aug 2015

In light of the Olive Cooke scandal and a recent court case over legacies Dorothy Dalton reminds trustees...

Society Diary: Measuring the impact of impact measurement, and getting branded stationary

21 Aug 2015

Our weekly round-up of interesting and outlandish information, collected from the corners of the charity...

Society Diary: Cake bake uptake, and cricket without boundaries

7 Aug 2015

Our weekly round-up of interesting and outlandish information, collected from the corners of the charity...