A blaze of colour in the form of Colefax and Fowler’s Cardinal Red velvet fabric will bedeck the exterior of the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, when the Queen embarks on her stately progress down the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 3rd June. Film set and fashion catwalk designer Joseph Bennett is decorating the river craft, which will lead the memorable River Pageant of 1,000 vessels east along the Thames towards Tower Bridge.
Joseph Bennett said: “Colefax and Fowler’s gift of red velvet fabric is very generous and we’re delighted to have such luxurious fabric to work with”. The deep scarlet velvet (in the fashion of the richly decorative regal barges of the 17th and 18th centuries) will be used for the beautiful Commonwealth Realm panels on the sides of the Barge as well as for the large, specially commissioned royal banner at the stern of the ship. This unique commission is a reminder of John Fowler’s distinctive decoration of the Audience Room at Buckingham Palace and of the interiors of other royal residences.