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One of the oldest hotels in Portsmouth, the Club was first established here at Queen Street in 1851. Back then it was known as the Sailors' Home and was set up to look after sailors. Back then seamen of the Royal Navy were treated terribly when they returned, and after two or three years at sea, this was an unkindness our founders could not bear. Thus the Sailor's Home was opened to provide respectable home comforts for our seamen, as well as being a safe place to leave their money.
The Club gained the prefix 'Royal' in 1855, after Prince Albert visited the hotel and Queen Victoria then became our patron. There have been royal visits throughout the 20th century too, including Queen Elizabeth II in 1986 (patron till 2007) and Prince Charles (patron since 2007) a year later.
Like so many others, our Club did not make it through World War II unscathed. On 10th January 1941, half the building was bombed, only for the remainder to be destroyed two months later on 10th March. However, the hotel was not abandoned. The Royal Navy built it again from the ground up, reopening on 4th March 1952. It has been a home from home for many ever since.
The club gained charitable status in 1883. Membership is open to all serving and retired members of the Armed Forces and their families as well as those of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Merchant Navy, for whom it was founded.