Diamond Jubilee - Slow Boat to Tower Bridge

Royal Stunner Gloriana

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is the highlight of the continuing 4-day Jubilee celebrations, as a thousand-boat flotilla of boats takes a seven-and-a-half mile route along the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge. I feel tempted to join in with my lilo.

Boatbuilders Richmond Bridge Boathouses of Richmond, Surrey were commissioned to build a Royal row-barge for the event. The magnificent Gloriana, commissioned by Lord Sterling, is the result of their labour. A team of twenty experienced boatbuilders and apprentices constructed the wooden boat using traditional methods.

Measuring 94 feet in length, the design is based on Prince Frederick’s row-barge, which was launched in 1732 and is now on display in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. The boat took five months to build.

Handled by 18 Men

Gloriana is built to be rowed by 18 of the Royal Watermen. Carrying ceremonial trumpeters, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry for the Pageant, it demands to be captured in oils Canaletto-style.


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