The Royal Southern Yacht Club was honoured on Thursday by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble was honoured on Thursday by the presence of its patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, for the commissioning ceremony of the newly completed Prince Philip Yacht Haven.

Three years ago, His Royal Highness graciously lent his name to the project that transformed the club’s waterfront and returned yesterday to view the completed development for the first time.

Accompanied by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mrs. Lindsay Fox, Prince Philip was welcomed to the Royal Southern Yacht Club by its commodore, Mr. Christopher Mansfield, before meeting flag officers and members of both the Royal Southern and its neighbour, the Royal Air Force Yacht Club, a partner in the waterfront project.

Later, His Royal Highness met the chairman of the group responsible for the Haven development, past commodore Mr. Mark Inkster, and its members, together with representatives of the Hampshire-based contractors who had worked on the project, before unveiling a commemorative plaque and taking lunch with members.

The 8-month building project has included the construction of a new quay wall, a capital dredge to give full tidal access, a new slipway and re-positioning pontoons to create enhanced berthing facilities for members and visitors.

The Haven includes a much needed disabled persons access, an ecologically sound¬† ‘living wall’ for invertebrates and, overall, the development will provide added flood protection to the village of Hamble.

Commodore Mansfield commented: “The Prince Philip Yacht Haven would never have been completed without the unstinting generosity and tolerance of Members, who deserve our unreserved thanks.

“Nor would it have been delivered without the foresight and impetus of members from both clubs who made up the Haven Group, or the contractors selected to bring it to fruition. It is truly a world class facility which will transform the sailing opportunities for both clubs.”

The Royal Southern Yacht Club has enjoyed Royal patronage since its formation in 1837.

A Member for 67 years, H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh was gracious enough to accept an invitation to become admiral of the club in 1952 and became its patron in 2002.