Gloriana, the new Royal Barge, was launched in the Thames at Isleworth yesterday. She looks stunning, even without most of the gilded carving that will be attached later. She will head the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant in June followed, at a respectful distance, by me in Langstone Cutter's Clayton skiff Mabel.
Gloriana cost a million squids and looks it. Over 90ft long, she takes 18 oarsmen and up to 34 passengers and crew. The material is the newly popular sweet chestnut, taken from the Prince of Wales's estates.
The next stop is Greenwich, where she will be presented to the Queen when she opens the newly-restored Cutty Sark next week.
There's a nice BBC report here.