Britannia was designed by George L. Watson, and built at Hendersons on the Clyde for King Edward VII in 1893. She underwent numerous re-fits, eventually being modified to the American Universal Rule to allow her to race against the J-Class boats, which were becoming so popular. The 1935 sailing season was to be one of the best for the J-Boat class at club regattas in the United Kingdom, with 8 yachts entered to compete, including the American J-Boat Yankee, and the American schooner Westward. This was Britannia's forty-second season of active racing, and for King George Vs Jubilee year she had been completely refurbished in an attempt to make her competitive with the newer J-Boats. She had her copper bottom removed, a new metal mast and boom, a double headsail rig, rod rigging and a centerboard added.