A classic Albatross motorboat, formerly owned and driven by HRH the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for more than 30 years, achieved a princely sum in the Bonhams Goodwood Members Meeting Sale, selling for £69,000, doubling its pre-sale estimate and setting a new auction world record for an Albatross.
The Duke’s 1956 Albatross MkIII Super Sports Runabout was carried on the Royal Yacht Britannia for more than a decade, including on the World Cruise of 1956/1957, and was famously photographed at Cowes driven by Prince Philip with the eight-year-old Prince Charles as his passenger. The image featured on the thank you card issued by the Prince of Wales in response to the messages of sympathy received following his father’s death last year.
The three-seater craft, one of only 607 produced, was powered by a Ford 100E 1,172cc side-valve engine (as used in the Ford Anglia) which, combined with the Albatross’ riveted aluminium hull, gave the boat a top speed of 34mph, ideal for water-skiing. It was Prince Philip’s second such craft, which was favoured by a distinguished clientele worldwide including Aristotle Onassis, Brigitte Bardot and Prince Rainier of Monaco.
In 1967 the boat was moved to the Balmoral Estate where it was later reputedly driven by the late Diana, Princess of Wales. It was decommissioned in 1987 and was offered in good unrestored condition, retaining its original engine.
The Bonhams Goodwood Members Meeting Sale was staged at the Goodwood Motor Circuit.