The Royal Jubilee banner will hang from the stern of the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell as it makes its journey up the River Thames from Battersea to London Bridge on this momentous occasion – The Thames Diamond Jubilee procession.
The banner is embroidered with over half a million golden buttons and features the Coronation Crown [St. Edward's Crown] flanked by the lion and the unicorn – a reference to British Heraldry and the Royal Coat of Arms. Around the border, teased from metallic thread will be all the Coronations from William I in 1066 to Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.
One of the great traditions of London is the Pearly Kings and Queens who have been embellishing their magnificent suits with pearl buttons since the mid 19th century. Their suits, hats and dresses handed down together with hereditary titles, are sewn with symbols – anchors, crosses, stars, moons, suns, flowers, diamonds – their distinctive costumes having sprung from the sinking of a big cargo ship in the Thames carrying pearl-buttons from Japan in the 1860′s.
I like to think this art work dovetails two very different Royal traditions whose histories have both been shaped by the Royal River Thames.
Visit the site of Ann Carrington, the creator of the fabulous piece of art.
You all know I’m a Royalist, and this Jubilee, even if it’s in another country does something to me. London was my hometown for a year, some 35 years ago. I still have a bond with that city, through friends and their families.
And… once a Dutch King ruled over those Emerald Isles, but never did a British King rule over the Low Countries!