09/07/2013 14:35 BST | Updated 09/07/2013 14:55 BST

Queen Takes Gloriana Out For A Cruise On The Thames (PICTURES)

The Queen and members of her family enjoyed a private cruise on the River Thames as the country basked in sweltering summer temperatures.

The royals took to the water in the million-pound rowbarge Gloriana which had a starring role in the Diamond Jubilee river pageant last year.

The Queen and the Countess of Wessex aboard Gloriana

As the ornate vessel was rowed along the river the Queen could be seen sat inside its cabin chatting to her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex.

Her sons the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex stood at the bow wearing sunglasses taking in the view.

At one point the Gloriana, rowed by royal watermen in scarlet livery, passed a group travelling on a narrowboat.

The royals boarded the rowbarge close to the Queen's Windsor Castle home and are thought to have travelled a few miles along the river before turning around and returning.

Gloriana, a 94ft vessel decorated with gold leaf and ornately carved, harks back 200 years when kings and queens travelled by water in opulent style.

It featured at the front of the flotilla that travelled down the River Thames last summer as part of the weekend of national celebrations marking the Queen's 60-year reign.

Mark Edwards, the master boatbuilder who led the team that built Gloriana, had to make repairs to his handywork after the rowbarge was damaged last month.

The ornate vessel suffered superficial damage after its two engines failed and the tide and wind carried it into Kew road bridge in west London.

Photo gallery The Queen is rowed down the Thames in Gloriana See Gallery