Museum for Queen's barge Gloriana sparks protest in Richmond

Residents are furious at Tory Lord True’s plans to build boat a home in river park and claim council was ‘acting in secret’

As the lead vessel in the Queen’s diamond jubilee river pageant, she glistened with gold, flew the flags of the United Kingdom, and epitomised the pomp and circumstance of the occasion.

The royal barge Gloriana, built in Richmond upon Thames especially for the jubilee and inspired by 18th-century barges painted by the Italian artist Canaletto, has been used in several ceremonies since her June 2012 debut, including the Olympics. But her next likely appearance - in an enormous dry dock in a new river park alongside the Thames in Twickenham - has led to an angry protest.

The idea is the brainchild of Lord True, the Conservative leader of Richmond council, and involves £1m of public money to create a tourist and heritage site with Gloriana as its centre, as a tribute to the vessel, its Richmond connections, and to the Queen.

— from The Guardian - 30 June 2014

30 June 2014 | news


While Lord True does “not wish” to encourage more cars, it will - of course it will. He does not “anticipate coachloads of tourists” Well try imagine instead of anticipate. It’s an historic vessel, people come from all over the world to see the trappings of our pageantry and I feel sure this would be another stop on the “must do” list.

Meanwhile a personal objection. Last autumn I helped supervise a class of children “doing Forest School stuff” in the wilderness near Orleans Park Gallery. When the jets were somewhere else it was so quiet and just, wild. The children loved it and it would be an outrage to spoil that area. Of course, it would tick 2 curriculum boxes if you could combine a trip to the barge with some wildlife, so that would please people who like ticking boxes.

Dave is now 64 at 4 July 2014 9:00 AM

Was the Gloriana built in Richmond? No! (It was was built in Brentford- and Brentford are happy to house it permanently.)
Has the Queen ever travelled in Gloriana? No!
Is there any real historical connection between Richmond and the Gloriana? No!
Do we want the Gloriana parked on top of a much valued playground and open space? No!

(If Lord True insists on having the Gloriana based in Richmond why not leave it floating on the river so that community groups and other local organisations can use it - in the same way that the other ‘royal’ barge, the shallop “Jubilant” is used by youth groups and others.)

Martyn Day at 27 July 2014 11:05 AM

The bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund states quite plainly that the target is 50,000 visitors p.a.. It does not say how this figure has been arrived at.

She was built in a factory on the Great West Road and launched from Old Isleworth. The designer, Mark Edwards runs the boat business by Richmond bridge.

Read all about it at: and sign the petition at:

Christopher Squire at 5 August 2014 6:50 PM

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