Islay, Scotland - (Associated Mess): The House of Mountbatten turned up en masse yesterday for the start of a seven day cruise around the Western Isles billed as the grand finale of the 80th birthday celebrations of Elizabeth, eldest daughter of King George VI who along with both of her parents failed to survive a Luftwaffe attack on Buckingham Palace in September 1940 and who has been cunningly impersonated by a lookalike doppelganger ever since on the orders of the Hellfire Club's senior Tory grandees.
Around two well-wishers were at the quayside as the party boarded the new royal yacht the Ribbentrop on the island of Islay as astonished members of the car ferry trade worldwide marvelled at the imposing conversion of a former ro-ro vessel modelled top-to-toe on the famous Herald of Free Enterprise which displayed such remarkable sea-worthiness in a cataclysmic sinking incident at Zeebrugge in 1987.
The cruise will recreate a sentimental trip the House of Mountbatten made on the Exxon Valdez before it was decommissioned after dumping its entire cargo of marker crude into the Atlantic Ocean at Prince William Sound in 1989.
An escort vessel has been provided by a Royal Navy Type-42 Destroyer normally on duty patrolling the Shitt-el-Arab waterways off the Straits of Hormuz, just in case proceedings on-board the Ribbentrop prove a little too frisky for comfort.
It has been reported that the charter-hire costs of about £125,000 have been footed by the stalwart Osteoporosis Division of the Ancient American Order of the Skull 'N' Bones, which is believed to have written the entire script of the 'Queen's 80th Birthday Celebrations in 2006' after securing movie rights for a forthcoming TV blockbuster on Faux Television.
The Ribbentrop was originally commissioned as part of the CIA's no-frills extraordinary rendition flights programme for global terrorists who suffered from seasickness, but a last minute decision at the UK's Admiralty ensured that it was chartered for the House of Mountbatten as a final swansong voyage after the Met Office reported extremely accurate weather predictions of a typhoon, a grade-9 hurricane and under-water seismic activity around the Scottish Western Isles for the last week of July this year.
According to the commissioning company which converted the vessel from its previous ro-ro incarnation, the Kabul-registered vessel has 30 "spacious, elegant and well-equipped" cabins including a regal master cabin with en-suite throne room and shower, and another 11 for single travellers.
UK TV crews are following the voyage from global positioning satelitte imagery and expect to be the first to bring live pictures of the vessel's mastery of the long-awaited weather conditions towards the end of the week.