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Prow Sculpture Royal Canopy. Royal Arms. Jubilee medallion & Queens Personal Cipher.

In  December 2011 Alan was commissioned to  design  a sculpture for the

prow of the Queen’s Royal Barge for the Diamond Jubilee. The brief was set

by Emmy award-winning Production Designer Joseph Bennett, and the

design was approved by The Thames Jubilee Pageant Committee and

Buckingham Palace. The design was inspired by the state coaches and

barges of the 18th century, but also draws on earlier mannerist influences.

Although engaging with these traditions, it is a modern sculpture. With its

huge dolphins and echoes  of the British seaside in its detailing, it balances

gravitas with a sense of fun.

  The master for the prow sculpture was modelled using over two tonnes of clay. A cast was then made made in acrylic resin. This was oil gilded using 300 books of 22ct gold leaf. Some elements of the sculpture were then silver leafed or glazed with tinted oil varnish to nuance the colour of the gold. The finished prow sculpture stretches fourteen metres around the prow of the boat. The commission expanded to include the design and manufacture of a version of the Royal Arms, The Queen’s Personal Cipher, the Jubilee Medallions and the sculptural work for the Royal Canopy. As designer and master sculptor Alan co-ordinated  a team of over forty craftspeople, including many staff and students from City and Guilds of London Art School. On Sunday 3 June, over 1,000 vessels participated in a flotilla on the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge. It was the largest pageant on the river since the 17th century, with rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes. Two million people  lined the banks to pay tribute to Her Majesty The Queen - and to watch the seven-mile procession of boats between Battersea and Tower Bridge. The flotilla’s jewel in the crown was the Royal Barge - The Spirit of Chartwell which carried The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.


The Royal Barge Sculptures
“This commission is an exceptional recurrence in modern times of something that formed part of the mainstay of the careers of many great artists in the past - temporary sculptures for Royal and ceremonial occasions.” Jonathan Marsden, Director of the Royal Collection and Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art
Photo Courtesy of Nick Moulds
Royal Barge