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Until the middle of the nineteenth century the Sovereign regularly travelled on the river Thames, either on State occasions or between the Royal Palaces of Windsor, Westminster, Hampton Court, Greenwich and the Tower of London.

The men who rowed the Royal Barges up and down the river Thames were known as Royal Watermen. The Sovereign today still retains 24 Royal Watermen under the command of The Queen’s Bargemaster, thereby continuing one of the most ancient appointments in the Royal Household. The original number of 48 was halved by King Edward VII.

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http://www.royal.gov.uk/

RoyalEventsandCeremonies/

Ceremonialbodies/

TheQueensWatermen.aspx

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