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The Queen of the Lake owned by Windermere Lake Cruises and Captained by Ron Walker has been selected to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Queen of the Lake, a traditional Windermere wooden launch is one of the vessels listed on the National register of Historic Vessels which will be travelling in the flotilla.
The afternoon of Sunday 3rd June will see a thousand boats gather on the river Thames in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It will be the largest flotilla in modern times on the river with rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, stretching for an estimated twelve and a half miles.
The event has proved extremely popular with three boats applying for every place. The pageant organisers and representatives from the river community were involved in the selection process which included considering safety, fitness-for-purpose and range of vessel type as well as exploring whether the vessel was of historical significance or had an interesting story to tell. At the end of 2011, organisers confirmed to applicants the lucky boats who will take part in this historic event.
Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director, Windermere Lake Cruises said: “We are delighted that Cumbria will be represented at such a high profile, patriotic event which will inevitably strike a cord with the whole country as we celebrate her Majesty the Queen and her 60 year reign together.
“We are pleased to be working with the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria Sir James Cropper KCVO, Royal Windermere Yacht Club and the Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club to showcase an iconic image of Cumbria and the Lake District, not just to the Royal Family but also to the Great British public and the wider world. We hope to be able to involve the wider Cumbria community in this project and to give some younger Cumbrians a day out that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Royal Windermere Yacht Club and the Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club have had connections with Royal events in the past and are delighted to be involved in this project.
Built in 1949, measuring 15.2 metres and able to accommodate up to 84 passengers Queen of the Lake is based at Ambleside and is in daily service from April to October carrying passengers on Windermere, England’s longest lake. She is no stranger to royalty, having carried HRH the Prince of Wales in March 2010 when he visited Cumbria and the Lake District.
Queen of the Lake will travel from Windermere to London by lorry on a specially designed frame, covering almost 300 miles, a distance she hasn’t covered since she travelled to Windermere from the Thames-side town of Molsey, where she was built over 60 years ago.
Alex Williamson, Boat Building Manager for Windermere Lake Cruises and Operations Manager Russell Bowden, will be leading the team down to London for the event while Windermere Skipper Ron Walker will Captain the boat on the day itself.
Every vessel will proudly take its place in the flotilla alongside Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family aboard the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell. It will be a once in a lifetime moment for Queen of the Lake, her crew, her passengers and Cumbria as a whole, to be part of this glorious moment in our rich royal history.