design for the barge which will be used by the Queen to travel down the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
When Queen Victoria visited north-west England in 1851, she and Prince Albert travelled along the Bridgewater Canal from Patricroft station to Worsley Hall to pay a visit to the earl of Ellesmere. The Earl had two imposing state barges fitted up to carry her Majesty and her retinue during her visit to Worsley. The stern of each boat was decorated with the earl of Ellesmere’s coat of arms. The queen’s boat was painted white with gold mouldings, and was upholstered inside with crimson satin.
There was intense excitement locally, but it was all too much for the canal horses. The Times reported that the horses received special training: ‘…in order that they may not be frightened at the shouts they are destined to hear.’ This was a necessary precaution because: ‘…when the horses were first tried they jumped into the canal.’ (Times, 8 October 1851.)
You can still see the Duke of Bridgewater's Boat House at Worsley today.
Image: The state barges on the Bridgewater Canal used during Queen Victoria’s visit to Worsley. Illustrated London News, 18 October 1851.