She was the largest and most luxurious Imperial Yacht afloat in her time, but The Standart would inevitably meet a similarly tragic fate to her owners. After 30 years in service to the Russian Empire, the Imperial Yacht was stripped of her elegance and converted to a Soviet minelayer for World War II and then became training ship until she was unceremoniously scrapped in an Estonia shipyard in 1963. These grainy black & white photos that capture a precious wink of time when the ill-fated Romanov family spent their summers vacationing aboard their floating palace, are all that’s left of the most magnificent royal yacht ever built.
The Imperial Standart yacht was the size of a soccer pitch at 401 feet long and provided the most luxurious means of travel. Adorned with mahogany, polished floors, brass fittings, crystal chandeliers and velvet drapes, it was the envy of all royal families. Fitted out with every comfort, the Imperial Family’s cabins were nearly as large as their rooms in the Peterhof villa.
Yachts were necessities to any royal family at the turn of the century, serving not only as places entertainment but also for discrete diplomacy.
The boat even had it’s own chapel for the Romanovs.
The beautiful daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, especially loved their time aboard the vessel, not to mention the opportunity to flirt with the handsome officers aboard.
Of course, such luxury came at an unimaginable price for the last Emperor and his young family. I’m reluctant to go into detail about the haunting story of how the Romanovs were murdered because it would certainly ruin a happy day for anyone. If you’re unfamiliar with it but curious to know, you’ve been warned.