Celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the National Maritime Museum’s 75th anniversary, Royal River explores the relationship between the monarch, the City and the people as it was brought to life on the Thames – London’s greatest thoroughfare. From London’s birth, royalty have looked to the Thames to display their power, patronage and pageantry to a city and a people intimately and inextricably connected to the water.
Taking in the palaces, processions, parties and promenades that made the London we know today the exhibition brings together a wealth of paintings, manuscripts and rare and beautiful objects. Highlights include 49 items generously lent by the Royal Collection, many of which are on display for the first time.
The exhibition comprises over 250 items on loan from museums, galleries and private collections across Europe as well as an array of objects drawn from the National Maritime Museum’s rich collections. Among the items selected for the exhibition are Handel’s autographed score for the Music for the Royal Fireworks (British Library), the magnificent stern carvings from the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert III and a remarkable collection of artworks by Canaletto.
Bob Diamond, Chief Executive, Barclays Bank PLC, said: ‘I am delighted Barclays is sponsoring Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames at the National Maritime Museum. The museum has always exhibited on topics of Britain and the sea, showing the contemporary significance of maritime events and the stories of this island nation. Royal River is a fitting way for the National Maritime Museum to celebrate its 75th anniversary and Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.’
Guest curator David Starkey said: ‘The exhibition brings to life the extraordinary and varied history of the Thames as Britain’s royal river. This grand street through the heart of London has been a stage for the power and pageantry of key events in British history. Many of the more than 350 objects to be shown in Greenwich have never been displayed before. Together, they provide a visual feast, highlighting both the drama and magnificence of river celebrations and the fascinating and unexpected stories of Thames people.’
Lord Sterling, Chairman of the National Maritime Museum said: ‘2012 will be a remarkable year. In addition to the momentous occasion of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Greenwich will become London’s new Royal Borough and a major venue for the 2012 Games. Royal River will be the first major exhibition in the Museum’s new Sammy Ofer Wing in 2012. It gives us great pleasure that this exhibition has been sponsored by a great British bank, Barclays. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the National Maritime Museum. On 27 April 1937 the 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth attended the opening ceremony as a birthday treat, beginning an enduring Royal association with the museum. This association has continued with support from His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh who has been both a Museum Trustee and Patron for 63 years’
|Start date||Thursday, 26 April, 2012 10:00 AM|
|End date||Sunday, 09 September, 2012 05:00 PM|
|Address||National Maritime Museum|