Governor Chris Patten will leave Hong Kong on the Royal Yacht Britannia, a defence expert said yesterday. Paul Beaver of Jane's Defence Weekly said senior naval sources in London had told him Britannia would almost certainly sail to the territory for the handover. He added: 'All the odds are that Britannia will come. There's tremendous pressure to make that happen. It's very symbolic.' A government source said: 'Everybody expects the Governor will leave on Britannia. I think you could bet your pension on it.' The Ministry of Defence does not release Britannia's schedule for security reasons, but a spokesman strongly hinted she would be in the territory for June 30. He said: 'She is in fine working order. We don't normally publish the programme a long time in advance, but in this case I can say it is possible she is coming to Hong Kong.' Mr Beaver also revealed the Commander British Forces, Major-General Bryan Dutton, would move his office to a warship ahead of the handover. He added: 'HMS Chatham has just completed a major refit to include a new communications fit in order to allow the CBF . . . to conduct the last stages of withdrawal from the warship in Hong Kong harbour.' A Ministry of Defence spokesman said HMS Chatham would be in the region next year as part of the naval exercise Ocean Wave 97. But he said it was still not decided which frigate would be coming to Hong Kong. HMS Exeter, the first Royal Navy ship to visit China in more than a decade, arrives in Hong Kong today ahead of next week's goodwill trip to the mainland. The destroyer, on a routine visit, leaves for Qing Dao next Thursday. The last Royal Navy warship to visit China was HMS York which sailed to Shanghai in 1985.