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British RoyalsQueen Elizabeth II

River Thames tribute to Queen Elizabeth II will include very special vessel

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is holding a flotilla on Saturday, 24 September, to honour the late Queen’s historic life and reign. The flotilla includes a particularly special lifeboat with a royal connection. 

The RNLI’s flotilla will be four miles long, sailing from Chelsea Bridge to Tower Bridge. Over 150 vessels are participating in Reflections and will be lit in white lights to honour Queen Elizabeth II, the RNLI’s longest-serving patron. The world’s longest public artwork, Illuminated River, will also be involved; several artworks along the river will be lit in silver and gold in honour of The Platinum Jubilee. 

Although the flotilla was originally planned to be a later celebration of the Jubilee, it fittingly celebrates the monarch’s life and the new King’s accession. 

The flotilla will be led by a new lifeboat, Duke of Edinburgh, that celebrates the life and service of Prince Philip. 

Another notable boat that will be taking part is the row barge, Gloriana. It was built for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and was used in the Jubilee river pageant. It is a poignant touch, as the late Queen chose the name herself. 

The flotilla will be launching from Chelsea Bridge at 7:00 pm on Saturday, 24 September and will sail to the Tower of London, which will be lit in purple. The event is raising funds to build a new station at Waterloo Bridge with a fundraising goal of £20,000.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution was founded in March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck. It gained its royal charter in 1860 during Queen Victoria’s reign. The charity currently has over 225 stations and nearly 450 lifeboats operating in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland. 

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