Undoubtedly the most famous pleasure yacht of her day, the Nahlin also achieved a degree of celebrity, some would say notoriety, after she was chartered for a summer cruise in 1936 by King Edward VIII, amongst whose guests was his companion Mrs. Wallis Simpson.
Designed by G.L. Watson & Co. and built by John Brown at Glasgow in 1930, Nahlin had been ordered the previous year by Lady Henrietta Yule, the immensely wealthy widow of the business tycoon Sir David Yule who had died in 1928 leaving a fortune estimated at £20 million. Registered at 1,392 tons gross (556 net & 1,574 Thames), Nahlin measured 296 feet in length with a 36 foot beam and was powered by four of John Brown's own steam turbines to give her a cruising speed of 17½ knots. Described as "the most beautiful yacht in the world and the most seaworthy", Watson's brief had been to design a yacht to enable Lady Yule to "visit every part of the globe she desired" and the finished vessel fulfilled every expectation. Indeed, her appointments were so lavish that it was rumoured she cost £250,000 and her dimensions have rarely been surpassed, even by the most ultra-modern of luxury craft.
After four years of extensive cruising, Lady Yule felt she had seen everything she wished to and, rather surprisingly, placed the yacht out to charter. In the late summer of 1936, the new -- though as yet uncrowned -- King Edward VIII decided to hire her for a cruise around the eastern Mediterranean with a party of special friends, including the American divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson who was already occupying a prominent place in the King's life. The resulting photographic coverage of the carefree royal couple on holiday was inevitably published in the British press and it has been said that the 'Abdication Crisis' of December 1936 probably started to gather momentum as a result of this public exposure of the King's liaison. The notoriety of this cruise brought Nahlin to the attention of King Carol II of Roumania who, in the summer of 1937, purchased her for £120,000. Renamed Lucearful ("Morning Star"), she was modified to suit the King's taste and acted as the Roumanian royal yacht until he was forced into exile in Spain when his country was occupied by German troops soon after the start of the Second World War.
The subsequent history of Nahlin is tortuous in the extreme yet somehow she survived not only the War and its Communist aftermath but also obsolescence and decay. Once again bearing her original name, after numerous changes over the past fifty years, she is currently undergoing an exhaustive restoration which will soon see her back at sea in her full glory.