Top News Article | Reuters.co.uk
: "A re-enactment of the elaborate waterborne procession that carried Britain's greatest naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson to his funeral sails up the River Thames on Friday.
The flotilla of up to 40 rowing boats, many manned by crews in 18 century costume will mark the procession of two centuries ago when the dead admiral was transported along a river crowded with thousands of mourners.
The place of Nelson's funeral barge will be taken on Friday by the Royal Barge Jubliant.
The ceremony is part of a series of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the epoch-making Battle of Trafalgar.
Nelson was given a state funeral on January 8-9, 1806 after being shot dead by a French sniper on the deck of his flagship HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805.
Regarded as one of Britain's most important naval engagements the destruction of the French and Spanish fleets off Spain's Cape Trafalgar paved the way for the Royal Navy's dominance of the world's oceans for 100 years.
The celebrations in Britain which greeted the news of the victory were tempered by grief that Nelson, one of the country's most popular men, had died.
His body was shipped home in a cask of brandy to preserve it, and 30,000 people came to pay their respects as he lay in state at Greenwich from January 4-7, 1806.
just imagine the smell of lilies and brandy
He was then taken up the Thames with great pomp to the Admiralty in Whitehall where he lay overnight before being transferred to a ship-shaped funeral carriage and escorted by an equally impressive cortege to St Paul's Cathedral for burial.
On Friday the flotilla, which will include the Lord Mayor's ceremonial barge, a cutter (small rowing boat) from HMS Victory and barges from the city livery companies will start from"
.:.:: Welcome to the website of the Emirates Thames Nelson Flotilla! ::.:.
: "London commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson with a symbolic re-creation of his extraordinary waterborne funeral procession from Greenwich to Whitehall Stairs, which took place on 8 January 1806. The event also commemorates the 40th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral, which imitated Nelson's by including a similar river journey.
Associated events include:
Thursday 15 September:
The Canary Wharf Festival. Assembly of the Flotilla in Docklands and an evening fund raising event for the Lord Mayor's Appeal.
Saturday 17 September:
The Trafalgar Great River Race. The 22-mile Thames 'marathon' for 280 traditional rowing boats from Ham House, Richmond to Island Gardens, Isle of Dogs. Starts at 14.30."