Queen Mary’s Shallop, 1689

£5.00

State Barges on the Thames

Availability: In stock

The Queen’s Shallop (1) was built in 1689 for William of Orange’s consort, Queen Mary II. As can be seen, it is hardly more than a large rowing boat, 12 m (41 ft 6in) inches long and 2 m (6 ft 6 in) wide and rowed by ten oars. There is no house, but a canopy was fitted on stanchions for state occasions. The original green and gold canopy no longer exists; but a red one, made in 1912, is preserved at Greenwich. The Shallop appears to have been used by the consort of successive sovereigns or by their retinue, following behind the royal, or state barge, in processions. In 1849 the ‘Prince Frederick’ made its last journey and the Queen’s Shallop replaced it as state barge. In 1912 King George V and Queen Mary used it for their visit to Henley Royal Regatta, the next year for a visit to Eton, and it was last used by their Majesties at the Peace Pageant in August 1919 (2). Still seaworthy, the Shallop now rests in the National Maritime Museum, part of the Royal Museums Greenwich complex, having been presented by Queen Mary in 1931, although not actually moved there until 1953. It was overhauled by Messrs William Cory before removal from the boat house at Windsor and pronounced as sound in the upper parts as the day it was built, but considerably rotted below the water line. Nevertheless, it could be repaired rather than rebuilt; a tribute to the stout building in English oak 270 years before.

Dimensions 38 × 23 cm