Barclays has announced today that it is to become the sole sponsor of a new exhibition at London’s National Maritime Museum.
Entitled ‘Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames’, the exhibition runs from 27 April next year, during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the museum’s 75th anniversary.
It is guest curated by historian David Starkey and explores how Britain has, from London’s birth, looked to the River Thames to display its power, patronage and pageantry to the city and its people.
‘Royal River’ profiles the palaces, processions, parties and promenades that form part of London’s history and brings together for the first time a wealth of paintings, manuscripts, and rare and beautiful objects. These include pieces from the Royal Collection and museums, galleries and private collections from across Europe.
Chief Executive Bob Diamond said: “I am delighted Barclays is sponsoring ‘Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames’ at the National Maritime Museum.
“The museum has always exhibited on topics of Britain and the sea, showing the contemporary significance of maritime events and the stories of this island nation.
“’Royal River’ is a fitting way for the National Maritime Museum to celebrate its 75th anniversary and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.”
David Starkey added: “The exhibition brings to life the extraordinary and varied history of the Thames as Britain’s royal river.
“This grand street through the heart of London has been a stage for the power and pageantry of key events in British history.
“Many of the more than 350 objects to be shown in Greenwich have never been displayed before. Together, they provide a visual feast, highlighting both the drama and magnificence of river celebrations and the fascinating and unexpected stories of Thames people.”
Lord Sterling, Chairman of the National Maritime Museum, concluded: “2012 will be a remarkable year. In addition to the momentous occasion of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, Greenwich will become London’s new Royal Borough and a major Olympic venue.
“Royal River will be the first major exhibition in the Museum’s new Sammy Ofer Wing in 2012. It gives us great pleasure that this exhibition has been sponsored by a great British bank, Barclays. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the National Maritime Museum.
“On 27 April 1937 the eleven-year-old Princess Elizabeth attended the opening ceremony as a birthday treat, beginning an enduring Royal association with the museum. This association has continued with support from HRH Duke of Edinburgh who has been the Museum’s Trustee and Patron for 63 years.”