• Whose row-barge is it, anyway?

The feasibility study is silent on this point as is the Gloriana website. It has been commonly assumed that it belongs to a charitable trust but no-one had the details. A Google search turns up this quote from its designer, Mark Edwards: ‘ . . The royal barge was also intended as a legacy, so it now belongs to the Maritime Heritage Trust [MHT], which uses it for charities and good causes . . ‘

It is mentioned only once on the Trust’s website, in its Winter 2014 Newsletter [the most recent issue]: ‘ . . the row-barge has now  emerged from its “chrysalis”, having  been built, named by HM The Queen on  25th April 2012, led the Jubilee flotilla  some six weeks later and then carried  the Olympic torch down the Thames  during its final journey to the Olympic  Park . . ‘ – but that is all.

De_Witte_Olifant

It seems likely, therefore, that MHT have said that they will only take Gloriana if it comes with an endowment and a home. At present it has neither, so it remains in the hands of those who had it built – future heritage perhaps, but apparently a present-day white elephant.

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