The Royal Jubilee Banner
It was a great honour to have been asked to make this historic artwork for the Queen in celebration of her diamond Jubilee. The Royal Jubilee banner hung from the stern of the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell as it made its journey up the River Thames from Battersea to London Bridge on the historic occasion of the Thames Diamond Jubilee procession.
The banner is embroidered with over half a million golden buttons and features the Coronation Crown (St. Edward's Crown) flanked by the lion and the unicorn - a reference to British Heraldry and the Royal Coat of Arms. Around the border, teased from metallic thread are all the Coronations from William I in 1066 to Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.
One of the great traditions of London is the Pearly Kings and Queens who have been embellishing their magnificent suits with pearl buttons since the mid 19th century. Their suits, hats and dresses handed down together with hereditary titles, are sewn with symbols - anchors, crosses, stars, moons, suns, flowers, diamonds - their distinctive costumes having sprung from the sinking of a big cargo ship in the Thames carrying pearl-buttons from Japan in the 1860s.
I like to think this art work dovetails two very different Royal traditions whose histories have both been shaped by the Royal River Thames.