June 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, April 19, 2012
A million-pound row barge built to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was launched on the River Thames today.
The 94-foot vessel, decorated with gold leaf and ornately carved, harks back 200 years to when kings and queens travelled by water in opulent style.
It will be one of the star attractions in this summer’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant - a 1,000-strong flotilla of boats with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh travelling at its heart.
Lord Sterling, who organised public celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, is behind the project which created the barge in honour of the monarch.
He said: “We think it’s something special, but that’s for others to judge, really.”
He added: “If we had to give it a style, it would be Regency. Including 18 rowers, it will carry 52 people.
“No one’s really built anything like this for 200 years and the way we’ve built it, it will last for 200 years if looked after.”
Earlier the row barge brought traffic to a standstill in west London as the long vessel was moved from an industrial unit in Brentford to the Thames at Isleworth during the early morning.
The Queen will formally name the barge Gloriana when she visits Greenwich next Wednesday to open the relaunched Cutty Sark attraction.