Rigged as a screw-schooner, the steam yacht Santa Maria was built for Lord Alfred Paget by John Elder & Co. at Glasgow in 1883. Registered at 235 tons gross (123 net), she measured 154 feet in length with a 22 foot beam and was powered by one of her builder's own 2-cylinder 80hp. engines. By 1897, she had passed into the ownership of Lord Llangattock who, like many other boat owners, took his steam yacht along to marvel at and enjoy the Grand Review of the Fleet held at Spithead on 26th June that year to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the accession of Queen Victoria. The greatest assembly of warships in the history of the world, the event was the high-point of the many festivities held all over Great Britain and provided Lord Llangattock and his guests with an unforgettable spectacle.
The date of this painting suggests it was commissioned to mark the yacht's maiden season.