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Barge from The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to lead Magna Carta anniversary river pageant

The flagship barge that led Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant, Gloriana, will be the star of the show again at the upcoming Magna Carta 800th River Relay through Maidenhead and Windsor. The River Relay will travel along the Thames from Hurley to Runnymede on June 13th and June 14th.

Gloriana will be amongst a flotilla of around 200 craft as part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s anniversary celebrations of the sealing of the historic document in 1215. Downstream a copy of the Magna Carta will be transported as well as ‘King John’ and ‘barons’ and at several points along the route, playlet’s will be acted out retelling the story of the writing of the document.

The spectacular is being organised by Thames Alive and the facsimile of the Magna Carta that will be transported has been created for the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum by young people who live in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The flotilla will stop at various points along the route as the story of Magna Carta will be retold and the responsibility of carrying the document will be passed on to a new relay bearer who will be on board the Royal Shallop ‘Jubilant’.

Councillor Eileen Quick, cabinet member for leisure an libraries, commented on the upcoming pageant, “I am so excited that this wonderful row barge will be part of these spectacular once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. Residents will be able to see the flotilla at a number of public locations as it makes its way downstream. Magna Carta is the foundation of law and democracy in many parts of the world, not just here in the United Kingdom, and the world’s eyes will be on us in June.”

A whole host of other events have been planned in the Royal Borough to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Magna Carta including new displays at the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, an exhibition reception at St George’s Chapel and a jousting tournament at Windsor Racecourse.

The main part of the relay from up river will be rowed or paddled craft though at some points there will be opportunities for motor or steam crafts to join. At the conclusion of the pageant there will be a spectacular assembly of craft escorting the Magna Carta to Runnymede.

Registration for boats is open until the 28th February.

See some of Royal Central’s previous reports on Magna Carta here and here.

Featured Photo Credit: Gloriana 4/4 via photopin (license)