The 1956 Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout was sold at Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting in Chichester on 10 April. The jaunty little red, white and blue motorboat was one of just 607 of its type ever made (produced between 1956 and 1959), and was carried aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia for over 10 years, until it was decommissioned in 1987. In an added incentive for collectors, the vessel retains its original Ford 100E engine and remains in an unchanged, un-restored condition.
The Queen’s husband had two Albatross speedboats during his lifetime, which he used for water skiing. In 1956, Buckingham Palace returned the first to its makers for servicing, but Albatross Marine suggested he instead upgrade to their new Mark III model. Presented personally to the royal by the company’s managing director, Bruce Campbell, it was this second vessel that was auctioned over the weekend.