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Comment 12 DECEMBER 2011

First images of the royal barge that will lead 1,000-boat flotilla

The ship that will lead a fleet of 1,000 boats down the river Thames in a spectacular show of pageantry for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee has been named.

An artist's impression of the Spirit of Chartwell has been released based on designs which will transform the current barge for the celebrations next year. 

The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh will travel along the water in ornate thrones under a golden canopy.

The luxury cruiser has been donated for the occasion by owner Phillip Morrell.

In a nod to the richly decorated royal vessels of the 17th and 18th centuries, the sides of the barge will be madeover with red drapes, while the Queen's cipher and a crown will be displayed on the bow.

The floral displays will feature a red, gold and purple colour scheme with flowers from the Queen's own gardens.

An artist's impression of the Jubilee Barge that will carry the Queen down the Thames/Photo: PA 

It will pass under London Bridge during the special celebrations/ Photo PA 

The luxury dining experience already available onboard the Spirit of Chartwell/Photo: spiritofchartwell.com 

The barge, which was available to charter up until now, has been donated by it's current owner/Photo: spiritofchartwell.com 

A view inside one of the cabins on board the current Spirit of Chartwell/Photo: spiritofchartwell.com 

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