Friday, 16 March 2012

Royal Pageant


The Daily Telegraph reports,

 It's going to be the biggest royal event on London's river in decades, possibly centuries: on Sunday June 3 more than 1,000 vessels will leave Battersea for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, a stately progress downriver to Tower Bridge.

Ten groups of boats – including the 88ft rowing barge Gloriana, the "Little Ships" of Dunkirk and the replica Golden Hinde – will be led by music herald barges. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, on the royal barge The Spirit of Chartwell, will be in the third group.

All bridges will close to the public, so spectators will need to decide whether to watch from the north bank or the south, just as they did in medieval times, when the only way of crossing – bar London Bridge – was to be ferried by a waterman.

Londoners of those days would have been used to seeing the royal barge being rowed between Richmond, Westminster and the Tower; the river was a quicker thoroughfare than the appallingly congested streets.

Times have changed. The Queen and Prince Philip are unlikely to see bloated rats and cow carcases floating in the water. Instead of busy wharves, the modern river is lined with open spaces, cafés, bars, restaurants, hotels and galleries.

The excellent Thames Path runs along both banks and half the route can be seen from Victoria and Albert Embankments, both with huge pavements and walls to lean on. 


Anonymous said...

I trust, like ourselves, you will be in London that weekend for the various celebrations; including the concert at Buckingham Palace? After all, we must ensure the Province is adequately represented!

Timothy Belmont said...

Alas, I do not have a ticket for the Palace concert, though I expect to be in London. I'll be staying with my cousins at Fittleworth, West Sussex.