The next morning, we made our way down to the Thames for a River Cruise with river tour operators, French Brothers. During our coach ride to the River, we glimpsed an antique shop in Thames Street whose windows were simply chock-a-block with tempting items. Promising the group an impromptu visit to the shop afterwards, we continued on to the River.

A large bevy of swans were on hand to welcome us. Although they look regal, when competing for treats,  they are quite fierce.

The swans on the Thames are all owned by the Crown, the Worshipful Company of Vintners, or the Worshipful Company of Dyers. In July, each one is captured and marked for ownership, a period called swan-upping.

Young swanling, or cygnet, still with grey feathers

Excellent advice!

As the cruise begins, we pass the Eton Playing fields, upon which the Duke of Wellington said the Battle of Waterloo was won, although there is much debate as to the truth of this anecdote. 

Bucolic scenes abound along this stretch of the Thames. 

Long Bridge, entry to the Cuckoo Weir Stream, home of a Swan Rescue Center,

Above and below, the Boveney Lock, as far upstream as we cruised. 
It is one of 44 locks on the Thames.

The Royal Windsor Racecourse above and below.

Below, the landing for race-goers arriving by boat.

We were afforded occasional glimpses of lovely homes along the River.
Moored tour boat.

Canal Boats can also be found on the Thames.

A glimpse of the railway viaduct that carries the railroad into Windsor.

Interesting vessels…provided for the tourists?

Views of the Castle from the River

Near the Dock is Alexandra Gardens with the nearby Diamond Jubilee Fountain,
installed in 2012.

Our River cruise was a relaxing interlude, but the group had not forgotten our pledge to take them antiquing afterwards, so we made our way back to the shop, whose name we cannot, alas, recall, and in we all trooped. As is her usual modus operandi, Kristine asked the proprietor whether they had any Wellington items for sale and was disappointed when told they had not. No matter, we browsed at a leisurely pace, with each of our group seeking out treasures reflecting their own individual interests. Before long, our adorable Ki pointed out a particular display case, in which sat a miniature of none other than the Duke of Wellington. This case, it transpired, belonged to one of the many dealers who rented space in the shop and so the man on duty had not been aware of this miniature, which Kristine scooped up without further hesitation. Score!

Reader, a fabulous morning was had by all. Especially Kristine. Thank you, Ki Pha!


To commemorate the victory of the British, Austrian, Prussian, Russian forces and their allies over Napoleon, George IV envisioned a splendid banquet hall. The large hall replaced several rooms in the castle and includes many limewood carvings by Grinling Gibbons and his assistants in the 1680’s,salvaged from a former chapel. Most of the paintings were executed by Sir Thomas Lawrence, (1769-1830) as commissioned for the Room in Windsor Castle designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville and completed in the reign of William IV. Unless otherwise indicated, all paintings done by Lawrence or his studio.

Watercolour by  Joseph Nash of the Waterloo Chamber, 1844
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

North Wall, Upper Level

Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angouleme, 1825

Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick, 1848 by William Corden

Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg, later King of the Belgians, 1821
North Wall, Lower Level
Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, 1818

Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, c. 1820
William IV, 1832, by Sir David Wilkie

George III, 1820
This portrait is a copy Lawrence and his studio made based on his painting of George III commissioned by the MPs of the City of Coventry in 1792.

George IV c. 1820

Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, c. 1817

Frederick Duke of York, 1816

East Wall, Upper Level

General Sir James Kempt, 1835 by Robert McInnes

Matvei Ivanovich, Count Platov, 1814

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 1814-15

Field Marshal Gebhardt von Blucher, 1814

Sir William Congreve, c. 1805-10 by James Lonsdale

East Wall, Lower Level

Charles William, Baron von Humboldt, 1828

George Canning, c. 1830

Henry, 3rd Earl Bathurst, c. 1820

Ernest Frederick, Count Munster, 1820

South Wall, Upper Level

Henry Paget, 2nd Earl of  Uxbridge and 1st Marquess of Anglesey, 1836 by Sir Martin Archer Shee

Alexander Ivanovitch Prince Chernichev, 1818

William II, King of the Netherlands, when Prince of Orange, 1846 by Nicaise de Keyser

South Wall, Lower Level

Ercole, Cardinal Consalvi, 1819

Charles Augustus, Prince Hardenberg, 1818
Tsar Alexander I, 1814-18
Emperor Francis I of Austria, 1818-19 

Frederick William of Prussia, 1814-18

Charles Robert, Count Nesselrode, 1818

Pope Pius VII, 1819

West Wall, Upper Level

General Viscount Hill, c. 1820 by Henry William Pickersgill
Charles X of France, 1825

Charles Philip, Prince Schwartzenberg, 1819

Charles, Archduke of Austria, 1819

Sir Thomas Picton, 1836 by Sir Martin Archer Shee

West Wall, Lower Level

John, Count Capo D’Istria 1818-19
Clemens Lothar Wenzel, Prince Metternich, 1819

Armand Emmanuel, Duke of Richlelieu, 1818

General Theodore Petrovich Uvarov, 1818
Views of the Waterloo Chamber, above and below

Waterloo Chamber, as concert venue

For a virtual tour of the Waterloo Chamber, click here.