Patten backs princess's plea

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The former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten yesterday backed the Princess Royal's call for the Royal Yacht Britannia to be scuttled - if it will save it from a "vulgar or naff" future.

Mr Patten told Sky News: "I think it would be a pity if, like previous royal yachts, it was broken up and sunk." But he added: "I think it would be disastrous - I would prefer to see it sunk - than used for anything which was vulgar or naff, so I hope a role can be found for her."

The Princess said last week that she would rather see it scuttled than preserved as a tourist attraction which could not be maintained.

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