Jubilee flotilla

London held a Jubilee party for Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, over the past 4 days, starting from 2nd June.

A part of this celebration was a large flotilla of boats on the Thames at Westminster, which attracted around 1,000 vessels of a wide range of sizes, shapes, and age. It was a truly wonderful spectacle.

During the Thames flotilla celebrations on 3rd June 2012, and in accordance with flag protocol, the new royal barge ‘Gloriana’ carried the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom and flags of the nations of the United Kingdom: The Cross of St George for England; the Saltire Cross of St Andrew for Scotland;  Y Drag Goch /Welsh Dragon for Wales; the Cross of St Patrick for Northern Ireland; AND the Cross of St Piran for the Duchy of Cornwall.

Cornish flag flies on the Gloriana, with the other nations

It was noted by one observer that “These flags being flown plus the flag of the City of London, as a courtesy flag, as it was all being held in the City’s waters), were obviously approved by the highest authority in the land, and note that they included Baner Sen Peran, being flown as a national flag of equal status. This was the first time since Henry VIII’s coronation that Cornwall was being officially and publicly acknowledged as a nation of he UK, separate from, and distinct from, the other 5”. Will this official recognition of Cornwall be carried on into recognition of the Cornish people?

The £500,000 Gloriana is a rowing barge, 26.6 metres long, powered by 18 oarsmen.

Many other boats carried the Cornish flag, including a huge one on the St Ives Lugger Barnabas. Adam Kerr, skipper of the restored 19th Century Cornish fishing lugger sailed her 400 nautical miles to take part. Here is the Barnabas, with mast un-stepped but St Piran flying.

The St Michael`s Mount barge  .. the largest ever according to Guinness World Records – was the world’s oldest operational boat, ‘The St Michael’s Mount State Barge’. The vessel is thought to have been built in 1745 and was powered down the Thames by six oars rather than sail.

It is understood that there was also a Mounts Bay lugger, and a number of Cornish pilot Gigs, including Cream of Cornwall (Cotehele), Fear Not (Devoran), Golden Gear (Helford River), and Torrent (Boscatle). Surf boats were also transported from Cornwall for Australian surf lifesavers to crew.

A number of locations in Cornwall were selected as part of a chain of bonfires, and ancient way of communicating news. Strong winds and poor weather made this ultimately a low key affair.

A cartoon appeared that sums up the feeling of many in Scotland and Wales, and shared by at at least some Cornish patriots though, when confronted by massed Union bunting flags (much of which was promoted by commercial interests) rather that a mix with St Piran flags.


A Diamond Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 75th anniversary, but only the 60th anniversary in the case of a monarch (e.g. length of time a monarch has reigned). This changed with the diamond jubilee of the English Queen Victoria’s reign.

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, was celebrated on 2 June, 2012 and a party extending over 4 days.  This marks the ascension to the thrones on  upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952, and she was proclaimed queen by her various privy and executive councils shortly afterwards. The coronation was held more than a year after the accession, on 2 June 1953.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926  is the constitutional monarch of the combined crowns of Scotland and England, ruling as head of state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, plus 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms, and is also head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. She is also head of state through various guises of the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories; although there is some legal doubt about the Duchy of Cornwall.