River Thames Comes to Life in Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant
On Sunday 3rd June the River Thames in London will come to life in a way not seen for well over 100 years. A right Royal Pageant will be the centrepiece of the Queen’s Celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee.
The UK is known as a maritime nation. British ships are familiar sights on oceans round the world but to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this Royal Pageant will be held on just one river, the river Thames that flows right through the centre of London.
Over 1000 vessels will join in to make this a noisy, colourful, spectacular and unique occasion. From boats powered by oars through to Royal Naval ships with every size and shape in between – they will all take to the river to create a spectacle that will be remembered for generations.
The Royal Pageant on water will last for four hours, between 2pm and 6pm, and will travel downstream from Battersea Bridge to just below Tower Bridge.
Ever vessel will be crammed with colour, flags and spectators, all waving, shouting, cheering, and blowing whistles. Ships hooters will sound off and the Pageant will be led by the Queen’s boat as the Queen and her family and friends wave to the crowds lining the banks.
The huge convoy will pass through an Avenue of Sails as the traditional Thames Sailing Barges, not seen on the river for 50 years, will line up together with oyster smacks and naval vessels.
The Thames was once a working river with London docks receiving cargoes from all over the world and ships leaving with exports from Britain’s factories. Today the river is used for leisure with pleasure boats and floating restaurants taking to the water.
The Diamond Jubilee Pageant will turn the clock back gloriously, reminding everyone of the days when the river was a living, working, vital part of life.
London 2012 Olympics is just weeks away and the Pageant is an opening taste of the events to come. The crowds will be even bigger for one of the world’s biggest international events.
But the Diamond Jubilee is a very British event, with a floating Church tower complete with bells that will sound out – and replied to by churches all along the river banks.
Take your seats by the TV for a spectacular!