Thursday 19 April 2012

Gloriana is launched

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.


JP said...

Ah, you got there first! The Gloriana was on my list of posts.

Not sure about the design to be honest - there's a whiff of Poundbury about it and that wheel is a bit weeny

Chris Partridge said...

I think the Poundbury gleam will pass, especially when the heraldic figures are installed, but I agree about the weedy little wheel. It should have been more of a statement wheel, if you see what I mean.

Thumbs said...

Interesting about the Sweet Chestnut. Often wondered about its use as an alternative to Oak - given the similar properties they share (cleavage planes, tannin levels etc.). Some say it is less stable and more prone to splitting than Oak, but not sure if that is just prejudice... Have to say I've been tempted to use it.

momist said...

I'm not sure I get the point of this:
"The Gloriana, which is covered in gold leaf, will not carry any member of the Royal Family."
So what is it for?

Chris Partridge said...

Gloriana will not carry royals at the pageant, but apparently she will be used for royal occasions in the future and also for a lot of youth rowing stuff.