The National Maritime Museum
celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary with Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames
, an exhibition curated by celebrated (and sometimes controversial) historian David Starkey. The museum's dodrancentennial coincides with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. In 1937 an 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth attended the opening of the museum as a birthday treat and it is this special relationship which plays a central theme in this year's festival. The exhibition looks back at the relationship between the monarchy, London and its people, focusing on how the relationship has been played out on the capital's beloved Thames river. London's connection to the water runs deep (excuse the pun) and the curators have created an outstanding collection which demonstrates the fascinating history. The exhibition will showcase over 250 items sourced from galleries, museums and private collections, included in this will be 49 rare paintings, objects and manuscripts on loan from the Royal Collection, many of these have never been displayed for public viewing before. David Starkey has said the exhibition will 'provide a visual feast, highlighting both the drama and magnificence of river celebrations and the fascinating and unexpected stories of Thames people.' The show will open in April and run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games until closing in September.