A group of volunteers has launched an international effort to raise £60m to buy Queen Elizabeth II a yacht to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
The group has expressed the hope that every person in the Commonwealth and UK will donate at least £1 via their mobile to raise the funds needed to buy the luxury yacht for the Queen, which will also be available to the 600 charities of which she is patron to use for fundraising purposes.
Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove initially mooted the idea of buying Her Majesty a yacht to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her reign earlier this year, but he was soon shouted down for proposing the expensive gift be funded by taxpayer money.
Giveonthemobile and Charities Aid Foundation will be processing the donations, with the former company the main driver behind the yacht appeal and waiving its usual fees on mobile donations. A spokesman for the campaign said that a group of volunteers, including “captains of industry”, had rallied together to develop the campaign and brought on the two companies as a means of facilitating the donations. A list of supporters is already live on the Jubilee Yacht Appeal website.
Individuals have a number of text-to-donate options as part of the appeal. They can text 'YACHT' to donate to buy the Queen a yacht, or text 'NOT' to make a donation to the royal's charities.
Elaine Skinner, chief executive of giveonthemobile and the director of the yacht appeal, said that the new yacht would replace the 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,” she said.