Thames Pageant: ‘Coronation to Coronation’, July 19, 2023

The HAVENGORE leading the Coronation to Coronation flotilla, as the cutters stretch out between Hungerford and Westminster Bridges

On July 19th, the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager, the famous annual rowing competition on the Thames, founded in 1715 to celebrate the coronation of King George I, was this year preceded by a Pageant. A Pageant honouring the accession of King Charles III.
As Thames pageants go, this was on the modest size but interesting nonetheless, keeping up the tradition of ceremonial rowing on the river, adding importance and an extra festive feeling to the tough Doggett’s Coat and Badge challenge, which with images from my vantage point on Lambeth Bridge, I will feature in my next article.

The HAVENGORE initially leading the Coronation to Coronation flotilla

Assembling at Waterloo Bridge, the cutters of the Livery Companies taking part rowed the final section of the competition course, each flying a flag with the cypher of one of the twelve monarchs crowned since George I.
Having led the cutters to begin with, the HAVENGORE, flying the cypher of Charles III, moved across to the south side of the river allowing both the Pageant and the Doggett’s Coat and Badge race to pass.

The three leading cutters, JIM HOLT, BELLE FOUNDER and VITTORIA seen from Lambeth Bridge

The Livery Company cutters were not required, as they are on some occasions such as the Tudor Pull, to row with their full ceremonial regalia. But their team colours and flags brightened up the river as they headed upstream in an orderly procession.

JIM HOLT, flying the cypher of Elizabeth II, rowed by the Company of Watermen and Lightermen
The Worshipful Company of Founders’ cutter BELLE FOUNDER

Timing and co-ordination being all important, there was a short pause near Lambeth Bridge before the flotilla moved on.

VITTORIA, flying the cypher of Queen Victoria, rowed by the London Port Health Authority
Richmond Bridge Boat Club rowing cutter SARAH LISA
CENTURIAN, flying the cypher of GEORGE V, rowed by a mixture of Port Health Authority, Port of London Authority and Trinity House crews
Port of London’s PRISCILLA flying the cypher of Edward VII
BARBER’S CUTTER flying the cypher of George III
The Innholders Livery Company cutter, flying the cypher of George IV
The Company of Goldsmiths’ Thames cutter, with their patron saint St. Dunstan watching over the river from the prow
One of the RIBs filming from the side

Accompanying the cutters were ribs with film crews and safety boats ready to come to the rescue if needed.

WATER FORGET-ME-NOT, flying the cypher of George VI, rowed by the Company of Water Conservators
Livett’s BRAVO LIMA GB following the Pageant
The Cornish Gig, NEWQUAY, flying the cypher of George I, rowed by the Company of Chartered Architects
London Port Healthy Authority vessel LONDINIUM III
SANFONIA, acting as a safety boat as well as towing the Newquay Gig to and from Richmond.

My following article will be on this year’s Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager, which followed the ‘Coronation to Coronation’ Pageant viewed from Lambeth Bridge on July 19. The three competitors Riess Ballard, Matthew Brookes and Emily Hickman took on this 309th challenge rowing the 7.4 kilometre course, established by Irish actor Thomas Doggett in 1715, between London Bridge and the Cadogan Pier in Chelsea.

Notes, Sources and further Information
Excellent article on Rowing on the River Thames.
To find out more about what’s happening on the Thames, see The Port of London Events Calendar
Thanks to Joe Lane for info. Follow him on Twitter @rowjoelane
All images ©Patricia Stoughton If anyone would like a copy. Let me know via Twitter @Tidal_Thames95