IT is something that England did not expect.
But the HMS Victory – famous as Lord Nelson’s flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar against the French and Spanish in 1805– could be turned into a party boat.
The 247-year-old icon – that brought Nelson’s body back to England after he was fatally wounded on its decks off the coast of Vejer – has been donated to charity by the Ministry of Defence which cannot afford the 20 million euro repair bill.
The historic vessel will now be given to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which will pay for its upkeep, but it is feared the 104-gun warship, which retired in 1812, could be hired out for private functions and parties.
“This is unacceptable,” said a Royal Navy source.
“This historic ship should be kept by the Navy and honoured for what it did to this country.
“If Lord Nelson knew what his prized ship was being turned into, he would turn in his grave.”
However Former First Sea Lord, Lord West, argued: “It is inevitable she will be used for corporate events – but if we have to go this route to prevent her turning into a wreck, so be it.”