By Jason Moore

IT was one of my first big news stories for this newspaper. I was an 18-year-old “cub reporter” (yes that was my job title!) charged with covering the arrival of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Majorca.

It was October 1988. The British monarch was sailing into Majorca aboard the Britannia ahead of an official visit to Spain. It was quite a sight watching the royal yacht steam into Palma with the band playing and the crowd of almost 5'000 cheering on the dockside. To this day I have never seen a better sight in Majorca. The sun was shining the Britannia looked superb and King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were on the quayside awaiting their British guests. It was quite incredible. This was the Queen´s one and only visit to the island. She spent the weekend as a guest of King Juan Carlos before leaving on an RAF aircraft for Madrid and the start of her official visit. The memories of this memorable weekend in Majorca have come flooding back as I watched coverage of the Queen´s sixty years on the throne. Her Majorca visit was only a tiny part of her long reign but it is still remembered to this day. Anyone who believes that Britain doesn´t need a royal yacht was not on the quayside on that memorable day in 1988. The Britannia was not just a royal yacht it was an example of British seamanship at its best. What better gift to the monarch to celebrate her 60 years than another royal yacht. It will pay hefty dividends.