A flotilla of scores of boats will recreate Nelson's funeral procession up the River Thames through London on Friday.
A flotilla of hundreds of boats will recreate Nelson’s funeral procession up the River Thames through London on Friday.
Admiral Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord, will take part in the re-enactment, representing the Chief Mourner who in 1805 was Nelson’s friend Admiral Sir Peter Parker.
The event has the official title of the Emirates Thames Nelson Flotilla and takes place on 16 September from 10.55am at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, to 1.30pm at Westminster Boating Base.
The Jubilant (pictured here in red livery – for Friday she will be painted black) will act as funeral barge, and will be rowed up the Thames, replicating Nelson’s funeral procession, in company with a flotilla of motorboats, barges, gigs and cutters.
As the flotilla passes HMS Belfast sailors from HMS Collingwood and HMS Sultan will fire a salute from saluting guns.
Admiral West will disembark at the Honourable Company of Master Mariners’ vessel HQS Wellington at Temple Pier, where he will make a presentation of the New Trafalgar Dispatch to the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr John Moses.
He will then join HRH The Princess Royal and other members of the Nelson Flotilla for a reception hosted by the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.
The Port of London said leisureboaters should not attempt to join the flotilla, adding: “If boaters want to be involved the advice is to stay behind and follow up the river behind the flotilla. Anything that is outward bound we will allow to pass. But we won’t allow anything to pass the flotilla inward bound. For safety’s sake we would prefer leisureboaters to stay away.”
The timetable for the event is as follows:
10.15 Music starts at Greenwich, Trinity College of Music.
10.20 Guests start arriving at Painted Hall.
10.30 Procession locks out of West India Dock. Guard forms at Greenwich.
10.40 VIPs arrive at Painted Hall.
10.45 Flotilla arrives off Queen’s Stairs, Greenwich and forms up in two groups, the leading group on the north side of the river and the remainder down river from the Queen’s Stairs.
10.55 -11.10 Ceremony at the Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College.
Nelson expert Dr. Colin White delivers the prologue. Admiral the Lord Boyce reads the New Trafalgar Dispatch, which is then presented to the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West. Drum roll follows and the procession then makes its way down the central aisle of the Painted Hall, through the Old Royal Naval College and down the Queen’s Stairs.
11.15 -11.30 The First Sea Lord and other VIPs embark at Queen’s Stairs in the Thames Guardian, the Jubilant, HMS Victory’s Cutter, the Paul Satow and the procession starts upriver.
11.20 Leading group of motor vessels starts off up river.
11.45 Flotilla passes Canary Wharf Pier.
12.10 Flotilla passes under Tower Bridge.
12.15 Salute from HMS Belfast.
12.20 Flotilla passes Shakespeare’s Globe.
12.30 Flotilla arrives in King’s Reach (the Waterloo area of the river).
The Princess Royal arrives on HQS Wellington. There will be good viewing opportunities from Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges.
12.35 The First Sea Lord with The New Trafalgar Dispatch lands at HQS Wellington and presents it to the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr. John Moses. Royal Reception hosted by the Honourable Company of Master Mariners follows. The VIP barges rejoin the flotilla and the flotilla continues on to Westminster Boating Base.
13.15-13.30 Flotilla arrives at Westminster Boating Base, crews disembark and flotilla disperses.
Minute guns will sound upon departure from Greenwich, then every minute from Tower Bridge to HQS Wellington.