Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames, 2012 (past event)

The exhibition Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames ran from 27 April to 9 September 2012 at the National Maritime Museum. 

This exhibition has now closed

Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames ran from 27 April to 9 September 2012 at the National Maritime Museum.

Magnificent gilded barges, liverymen in their finest uniforms, the splendour of lavish celebrations: the Thames is the ‘royal river’, used for centuries by British monarchs to involve the people in ceremony and festivities displaying their regal status. For hundreds of years this famous royal river has been host to the pageantry of coronations, processions of boats, and other events which helped tie people closer to the Crown and to London as Britain’s capital.

Royal River exhibition highlights

This spectacular exhibition, a landmark heritage event of the year, brought together nearly 400 beautiful, fascinating and often unique objects, including one of the largest-ever loans of Royal Collection objects to any museum. Created to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and guest-curated by David Starkey, Royal River presented the historic Thames in all its glory, from British royal and City events to London’s famous watermen, the annual royal swan upping ceremony and the river’s transformation after the notorious ‘Great Stink’.

The Royal River exhibition catalogue can be purchased from the Museum shop.

Find out more about exhibitions and events at the National Maritime Museum: Browse current exhibitions and events