The Queen took a private trip on the Royal Row Barge Gloriana on Tuesday.

In a trip which had been kept secret she was rowed along the River Thames near Windsor Castle for over an hour.

The voyage aboard the £1 million vessel was in complete contrast to the torrential rain of last year’s Thames Jubilee Pageant when she and Prince Philip travelled on a specially adapted passenger boat.

As pictured below, today she sheltered from the scorching sun inside the barge’s saloon. Also on board were the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.

The Gloriana flew the Royal Standard from its bow as it made its way upstream accompanied by a handful of locally based classic boats, police and river patrol vessels.

Today’s trip was kept secret and she boarded the boat in the private section of the Windsor Castle’s Home Park. The boat was then rowed along the Thames for about two miles between the Victoria and Albert bridges and on to Eton.

The trip was kept so low-key that only a few people in the riverside village of Datchet on the opposite bank realised what was happening.

The Queen and the Countess of Wessex on Gloriana

The Queen’s trip on Gloriana is the first she has taken on the Royal Barge. The other occasion she stepped on board was for the official naming ceremony.

It is thought it was the first time in 200 years the monarch has been rowed in an 18-oared barge. Today the barge was rowed by the Royal Watermen.

After travelling upstream the Gloriana moored near the playing fields of Eton College for afternoon tea supplied by the Waterside Inn at nearby Bray.

The trip lasted for an hour and 45 minutes – 45 minutes longer than planned.

Malcolm Knight of Thames Alive, the organisation which manages the Gloriana, said: “The Royal party really enjoyed themselves. It was a great honour for us”.



Story dated July 9th 2013


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