She was popular among passengers and is remembered by the older generation for her elegant design and comfortable accommodations.

Originally named Princess Royal and constructed for the Southampton, Isle of Wight & South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd, the vessel faced rejection post-trials despite reaching an average speed of 14.75 knots.

However, she was still put into operation for a brief period of two to three weeks.

Following shareholder complaints, she was eventually decommissioned and subsequently acquired by Cosens & Co in 1908. They changed her name to Emporer of India.

She went on to spend the greater part of her life at Bournemouth, undertaking the longer excursions there.

Daily Echo: Emperor of India

Participating in both world conflicts, she rendered her services in various capacities.

During the Great War, she operated as a transport, hospital ship, and a minesweeper in the eastern Mediterranean.

During the Second World War, she took on roles as a flak ship in the Thames and a training vessel.

Daily Echo: Emperor of India.

She even brought home troops from Dunkirk, as can be seen in the picture below.

After her return from World War II, she underwent significant modernisation.

After the necessary modifications, her coal-powered furnaces were transformed into oil-burning ones, requiring a larger funnel. She successfully resumed service just in time for the 1948 season.

Daily Echo: PADDLESTEAMER: HMS Emperor of India brought troops home from the beaches of Dunkirk.

With a gross tonnage reaching 534, this impressive vessel stood out as the largest paddler operating regularly from Bournemouth.

By 1955, she was assigned to service in Swanage and then dismantled in Belgium in 1957.