A flotilla of 150 boats sailed down the River Thames on Saturday evening in a spectacular tribute to Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The spectacular tribute to Elizabeth was part of an installation called ‘Reflections’ and was originally planned to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, which was celebrated fully back in June.
Crowds gathered along the River Thames to catch a glimpse of the procession, which began at Albert Bridge and made its way downriver to Tower Bridge.
Organisers of the flotilla said that the procession would create “a sparkling night-time Canaletto scene.”
At 7pm, the boats passed Chelsea Bridge before reaching Westminster Bridge at 7:30pm before finally arriving at their final destination, Tower Bridge, at around 8:15pm.
At the heart of the procession was the Royal Barge, ‘Gloriana’, which is most famous for its appearance at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant. ‘Gloriana’ was escorted by traditional rowing boats such as Thames Watermen’s Cutters, Cornish Pilot Gigs, Skiffs and Skerries.
At the helm of ‘Gloriana’ was the King’s Bargemaster, Chris Livett, and was rowed by Ben Fogle and past winners of the historic race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge.
The flotilla was hoping to raise £20,000 for the RNLI with money going towards a new lifeboat station at Waterloo Bridge.
Queen Elizabeth II died on 8th September 2022 at Balmoral Castle. Following her State Funeral on Monday 19th September, she was laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside her mother and father and the late Duke of Edinburgh.