Sunday, 3 June 2012

Thames Pageant

The Sovereign's Diamond Jubilee weekend will reach its peak today with a colourful River Thames pageant, where Her Majesty will be aboard a specially adapted royal barge, the BBC reports.

Are any readers from Northern Ireland sailing at the event?

The event is expected to be the most spectacular nautical event in the metropolis for 350 years.

Millions of citizens are expected to take part in Jubilee parties, outdoor concerts and fairs across the country.

Along the Thames - London's liquid asset, according to one of the organisers - a procession of varied vessels will pass by. There will be rowing boats, steam boats, Dutch barges and Dunkirk little ships.

Twenty members of the Royal Family will be afloat. London has not seen such a spectacle since the reign of Charles II.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other senior royalty will travel from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge aboard MV Spirit of Chartwell - decorated with almost 10,000 cut flowers.

As the pageant begins at 11:30 am, with mustering at Hammersmith and Battersea bridges, the Thames barrier will be lowered to slow the river's flow.

The spectacle, along a seven-mile stretch, will end some six hours later when the last boat passes Tower Bridge. The event has been paid for by private donations.

A collection of small ships used to rescue stranded troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 will also take part in the river event. It will be led by the Motor Torpedo boat 102, the flagship of the officer who co-ordinated the evacuation on the scene.

BBC Big Screens will be transmitting live BBC coverage of the pageant in 22 locations around the Realm, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol , Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Middlesbrough.

Around the country, a community initiative called the Big Jubilee Lunch will encourage people to share food with neighbours and friends in street parties or at picnics.

In central London, Piccadilly is being closed for the first time in its history to allow 500 tables to be set up.

The Prime Minister will attend a Jubilee party in Downing Street.


Anonymous said...

Not sailing - but I'll be proudly representing NI as a loudly cheering spectator. Should be the greatest Royal occasion that the UK has ever witnessed. You undoubtably should be present.

R Wombat
Cheyne Walk

Timothy Belmont said...

I'd love to have been present. I'll be there in spirit.

Rex Hunter said...

being an expert in lip-reading, I must share what Her Majesty remarked to Prince Philip during the pageant : ' All that's missing is the presence of my liege Belmont. What can have caused his absence at this glorious hour ?'

Timothy Belmont said...

Ha ha! So I thought, myself. Alas, some of us must hold the fort in other parts of the Realm.

Rex, whereabouts were you viewing the Pageant?

Rex Hunter said...

from the comfort of my armchair. I felt the BBC commentators were extremely poor, a view shared by many TV critics, and there's a whole section of letters in the 'Times' today. None of them knew the first thing about boats or ships and mouthed inanities! Oh for a Richard Dimbleby !