Boatbuilder Stanley & Thomas has revealed the oars for the Royal Barge ‘Gloriana’, to be used at the head of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in June.
An 18-man crew – led by five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave – will row the Gloriana at the pageant, at the head of 1000 boats.
The £1m barge has been designed and built as a waterborne tribute celebrating the Queen’s 60 years on the throne, and took six months to complete.
"I became enamoured with the idea of building something timeless and got inspiration from Canaletto's paintings that showed the great barges of the 18th Century and decided to build one,” said Lord Sterling, who is behind the project that enabled the barge to be built.
"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.
"This has been a huge project. Something of this type would normally take a year or so to do it but we've done it in far less."
Stanley & Thomas’s J Sutton Blades, who have constructed the ornately-decorated oars for the project, have been making oars and sculls since the 1970s.
For more information about the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, visit www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org.