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New royal yacht named after Prince Philip to be 'commissioned within weeks', costing as much as £200m

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A new royal yacht is to be commissioned by the government and named after Prince Philip, according to reports.

It would be a successor to HMY Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997.

The Duke of Edinburgh was Lord High Admiral from 2011 until his death earlier this year, and served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the new yacht will be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson "within weeks".

The cost of building the vessel could be as much as £200m, with MPs calling for the ship to be built in the UK.

Downing Street has not denied the reports, with a spokesperson saying: "The prime minister has an exciting vision for shipbuilding in this country and is committed to making the UK a shipbuilding superpower.

"We are always looking for new ways to promote global Britain around the world, driving investment back to the UK and delivering value for money for the British people."

The yacht would be expected to sail across the world and be used to promote British trade and interests overseas - including by hosting meetings.

Conservative MP Craig Mckinlay has campaigned for the new yacht.

He said: "A new national flagship proudly bearing the name of Prince Philip can be no better memorial to this much-loved and respected man.

"I am delighted that the years of effort to prove to ministers the value of such a vessel to our country's global brand is now on the brink of becoming reality.

"My latest joint letter signed by fellow MPs and peers may have helped get this project over the line. I am overjoyed."

Jake Berry, who is chairman of the Northern Research Group of MPs, has called for HMY Prince Philip to be built by Cammell Laird on Merseyside.

Since being decommissioned in December 1997, HMY Britannia has been berthed at Edinburgh and used as a tourist attraction.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, an aircraft carrier, was sent on its first deployment last week.

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