About


The RNC & RAYC is set in a prime location, considered to be the original home of the Royal Navy, the area of Old Portsmouth offers seafarers and land-lovers alike a bustling city experience with glimpses of quintessential seaside charm and history.

Our building overlooks Governor’s Green and boasts views over the Long Curtain Battery all the way to Spithead and even the Isle of Wight. On a clear day, guests can see Cowes to the west, and Selsey Bill to the east from the view point in the club tower.

Surrounded by the stunning scenery and the attractions of this historical yet modern coastal city, the RNC & RAYC is home to a range of elegant and adaptable meeting and event spaces for a variety of occasions – from social gatherings to business meetings, weddings, conferences and more.

As well as offering impressive multi-functional event spaces for hire, the RNC & RAYC is a prestigious private members club, offering a wealth of benefits and opportunities to its members and affiliate members. With foundations in naval tradition and prestigious royal associations, through the years the club has welcomed princes and kings, and at one time had as many as 160 Admirals in membership. Members also include 19 recipients of the honourable Victoria Cross.




Historically a club for travelling naval officers, royalty, and prominent members of society, our quality of service to this day remains to the highest standard for members and non-members alike. The original menu book is still on show at the club to demonstrate a proud heritage of good food and fine wine. In keeping with the original intent, the club continues to encourage and support yachting and boating, with reciprocal club membership access around the world. We also pride ourselves in our continuing relationships with the Royal Naval Sailing Association, Royal Navy, and the Association of Retired Naval Officers.

Member socials continue to feature high-quality hospitality at the heart of their gatherings, with themed events including formal dinners, bridge nights, musical performances, wine appreciation, pilates, and more. Non-members are also able to enjoy the same high quality hospitality offering in a variety of spaces that can be hired for corporate events, family gatherings, weddings and more. The present-day club prides itself on delivering a warm and welcoming atmosphere and a high level of service to all its guests, whatever the occasion.



History of the Club

The building and its event spaces are steeped in history, with origins of the two clubs dating back to the 1860s when both the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club were founded. They merged in 1971 to become the distinguished club that still proudly continues to provide a welcoming home to members and guests to the current day.

Guests continue to enjoy the unique and impressive history of the building and signature style throughout, which has been sympathetically updated to the highest standard whilst retaining its character.

Members also benefit from exclusive access to further prestigious memorabilia and artefacts, an outstanding collection compiled over 130 years including silver trophies, historic artwork, ship models and more. The library is one of the club’s greatest treasures, with an array of books on naval history published 300 years ago. Original club records have also been retained, and members are able to seek out famous names such as Captain Horatio Nelson in our archives!


  • 1864

    The Albert Yacht Club was established under the patronage of Prince Albert, a keen sailor.

  • 1865

    The addition of “Royal” to the title was granted by Queen Victoria. At this time the club became responsible for the Portsmouth and Southsea Regattas, carried out in the eastern Solent.

    1865

  • 1867

    In September 1867, the Royal Naval Club was founded by four Royal Naval Lieutenants serving on board HMS Bellerophon at Spithead.

  • 1868

    The Royal Naval Club purchased the premises of the Hampshire Banking Company in April 1868. This building forms the western part of the present-day club building.

    1868

  • 1871

    In June 1871 the RNC bought the adjoining property, the Fitzclarence Tavern and the private residence attached, for £1,400.

  • 1875

    Works to join the three buildings and extend the tower to its full height were completed.

    1875

  • 1939

    The Royal Albert Yacht Club sold its Southsea home and during the war the RAYC was housed within the RNC. When the war had ended, the RAYC left the RNC and temporarily joined up with the Royal Portsmouth Corinthian Yacht Club, but returned to the RNC at the time of merging.

  • 1971

    The two clubs merged to form the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club.

    1971

  • 2012

    The development of two penthouse apartments on the top floor of the club signalled the first significant changes to the building in more than 140 years. The two apartments have been sympathetically incorporated to ensure the Victorian facade remains legible and untarnished.

  • 2014

    150th anniversary celebrations for the Royal Albert Yacht Club included a major regatta in the Solent – the first of its kind since its heyday in 1908 – with a celebration in June and prize-giving in July.

    2014


Management / Board Staff

Board of Directors – 2021

Organisation Club Management