To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a treasure chest filled with gold and silver medals and coins will travel from the Waterloo battlefield today and make its way to St James’s, London, in a ceremonial re-enactment of Wellington’s victory message.
The Waterloo Treasure Chest, a treasure trove of gold and silver medals and coins provided by The London Mint Office and the Worcestershire Medal Service (medalists to the Queen), will set off from Belgium today en route to London as part of The New Waterloo Dispatch, a ceremonial re-enactment of the journey that the Duke of Wellington’s message of victory over Napoleon took from the Waterloo battlefield to the Prince Regent at St James’s Square, 200 years ago, in 1815.
Each of the pieces in the treasure chest bears historical significance to the Battle of Waterloo and includes:
Benedetto Pistrucci’s world-famous Waterloo Medal, which was designed by the master engraver for the sovereigns of the Allied Forces that ended Napoleon’s reign.
A stunning £10 coin in pure gold, featuring the two opposing generals that fought at Waterloo – the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Waterloo Campaign Medal, probably the most important British medal of all time, in both silver and bronze. This was the first medal produced whereby soldiers of every rank were given the same medal made out of the same metal.
The Waterloo Treasure Chest will be accompanied by a document celebrating the Battle of Waterloo’s lasting legacy of peace and replicas of the two Imperial Eagles and Standards that were captured from the French armies and brought to London in the original Waterloo Dispatch. Two impeccably dressed re-enactors, playing the roles of Major Henry Percy and Commander James White RN, who carried the original victory message, will travel with the precious hoard in a horse-drawn post chaise.
On arrival in St James’s on Sunday, each medal and coin will receive a certificate signed by Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter and Tim Cooke, Co-Chairmen of Waterloo 200, to confirm that they travelled on the New Waterloo Dispatch to London, exactly 200 years after the original journey and these limited edition medals and coins will then be available for purchase by the public.
James Deeny, Managing Director at The London Mint Office, says, “It’s very exciting to have our Waterloo Treasure Chest on board The New Waterloo Dispatch. So far, the medals we have produced for the Waterloo bicentenary have really captured the imagination with hundreds of thousands ordering them to date. The limited number of coins and medals taking part on this historic journey will provide collectors with a one-off opportunity to buy a real piece of history.”
The New Waterloo Dispatch is one of a number of initiatives around the Waterloo bicentenary that has seen Waterloo 200, The London Mint Office and the Worcestershire Medal Service working in partnership, including the release of 500,000 free bronze Waterloo Campaign medals, which you can still order.
|Click here to subscribe!
Download BRITAIN Magazine to your mobile today
No mobile device? Purchase directly on Zinio for your desktop!