H.M.S. Caesar was one of the nine 'Majestic' class battleships ordered as a result of the so-called "Naval Scare" [about French naval expansion] of 1893. Like the class's nameship, Caesar was built at Portsmouth, launched in September 1896 and completed in January 1898 at a total cost of £936,894 (including guns). Displacing 15,730 tons (fully loaded) and measuring 390 feet in length with a 75 foot beam, she could make 18½ knots at full speed and carried a principal armament of 4-12 in. and 12-6 in. guns. Distinctively designed with twin funnels placed side-by-side and the last class of battleship to have oval barbettes, Caesar and her sisters were fine-looking vessels and represented the acme of the late Victorian Royal Navy.
Sent to the Mediterranean after a short spell with the Channel Fleet, Caesar remained in Malta until October 1903 when she came home for a refit. Thereafter staying in home waters or the North Atlantic, she served as flagship on many occasions, even after her collision with and sinking of the barque Afghanistan off Dungeness in June 1905. Considered obsolete by 1914, her wartime duties, despite their usefulness, were mostly of a secondary nature and she was sold for scrapping soon after the War ended.