I watched most of the Jubilee River pageant yesterday on television. I think some of the criticism today of the coverage by the BBC can perhaps be expalined by the fact that this was an event they had little expereince of covering, and there was not the imaginative camera work that could convey the sweep of the Thames and the flotilla passing along it. The almost chat-show format was not very good, and again, I think, probably stemmed from not having precedents to draw upon for linking studio and outside broadcast.
That said the pageant itself appeared very fine, and a spectacle that, despite the weather, drew the crowds, and showed how the river flowing through the heat of the capital could be used to great effect on occasions like this.
I had a somehat more particular interest in the decoration of The Spirit of Chartwell - much of it was the work of a colleague at the Christ Church Picture Gallery here in Oxford who is also a tutor in gilding at the City and Guilds College in London. She had gilded the prow of the vessel, the plaques on the side and also made, painted and gilded the four cartouches with the national plant badges affixed to the corners of the canopy on the top deck. Another tutor at City and Guilds and his studens did the gilding of the Gloriana.
One of the students putting finishing touches to the gilding of the prow.
The prow of the boat during the pageant
Image: Daily Mail/AFP/Getty Images
There are more illustrations of the pageant in this newspaper report which can be read here.