Jubilant’s 20th Birthday

2022 is the Jubilant Trust’s 20th Birthday, and twenty years on from being presented to the late Queen Elizabeth II, we look back at how the Trust began…

In June 2002, the “Picnic at The Park” in Bushy Park took place and involved more than 40,000 members of the public and featured numerous stalls, display stands and bands with Her Majesty receiving a warm welcome from dressed-up teddy bears, before meeting Chelsea Pensioners, a Chinese dragon and pearly kings and queens.

The stalls included a “Jubilant Thames” enclosure, which bought together different types of boats associated with the Royal Family.

The enclosure included an exhibition detailing the Queen’s new barge, “Jubilant” which was being built in Richmond. Read more about the occasion at SW Londoner.

The “Jubilant” launch took place in September 2002 at Richmond and she was rowed to Isleworth close to the Kew Meridian, to be named as part of the “Celebration of Time”, an event recording the solution to the problem of Longitude and Harrison’s Clock, with Alan Coren playing King George III.

Over the past Twenty years, “Jubilant” has continued to introduce many people to rowing on the River Thames, mainly on the semi-Tideway at Richmond, but significantly as far down the river to Greenwich.

She has ventured upstream too, to Henley, having carried HRH The Princess Royal during the Henley Royal Regatta and was rowed by pupils of Westminster School on another occasion at the Regatta.

“Jubilant” carried the Olympic Torch on the River Medway, and supported the Royal Row Barge Gloriana on her maiden event – the Thames leg of the Olympic Torch Relay.

As part of regular events, she carried the Water Conservators’ Stella in the Tudor Pull for 10 years.

During the 800th Anniversary celebrations, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s “Guardians of the Magna Carta were taken along the river the length of the Royal County to Runnymede.

The Royal Watermen saluted Princess Alexandra from “Jubilant” at the opening of the Golden Jubilee footbridges in July 2003, and at the Diamond Jubilee, she accompanied Gloriana and the hundreds of other boats in the pouring rain at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Thanks to our willing volunteer crews, “Jubilant” has become a regular and indispensable part of Thames celebrations.

Back to