UK & World News
A Million Line The Thames For Queen's Pageant
The Queen and other members of the royal family have taken part in a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats that made its way along the Thames in the Diamond Jubilee river pageant.
Some 1.2 million people gathered in central London to watch the pageant and cheer on the royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, in the centrepiece of celebrations marking 60 years of Her Majesty's reign.
Bells rang out to mark the start of the pageant, and among those in the flotilla were narrow boats, tugs, Dunkirk little ships, pleasure cruisers and steam boats.
Bridges and embankments were filled with spectators, all desperate to catch a glimpse of the myriad of vessels passing by.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were joined on their vessel by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, who earlier attended a special Jubilee lunch in London's Piccadilly, as well as Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The royal barge, decorated with 10,000 flowers from the royal estates, began its journey from Cadogan Pier in west London.
The 86-year-old monarch wore a silver and white dress and matching coat - an outfit that has been a year in the planning and was designed by the royal dresser Angela Kelly.
Its colour scheme was chosen to stand out against the red, gold and purple hues of the royal barge.
Prince William's wife Kate took to the Thames wearing a red Alexander McQueen dress and matching Sylvia Fletcher hat.
Plush red velvet seats with a canopy were in place for the royal party to use on the lavishly decorated royal barge.
After travelling for around seven miles through the capital, the royal barge moored just past Tower Bridge, as heavy showers began to fall.
The Queen then braved the rain without an umbrella and stood under an ornate canopy to watch the spectacle of the flotilla, that had been travelling behind her.
The boats passed under all 13 central London river crossings from Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge in what was thought to be the largest live public event ever held in London.
Kayaks, family boats, barges, motor boats and vast sailing ships from all over the nation joined some of the most iconic craft of British history in the flotilla which travelled along the Thames.
The belfry carrying the Royal Jubilee Bells was the first vessel to reach the end of the route, followed by the million-pound row barge Gloriana led by Olympic gold medallistsSir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave, rowing with 16 others.
A Royal Navy flypast which had been planned for the end of the event had to be cancelled because of the bad weather.
Nine helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm were scheduled to form a 'Diamond Nine' in the skies above London to salute the Queen.
But the crowd's spirits were not dampened as the pageant was brought to a close with an orchestra playing Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and the national anthem.
Rory Neville-Clarke from Balham in south-west London said: "Seeing the Queen was great but I also love the kayaks and all the colours.
"The music is brilliant too."
Classical music, Bollywood anthems, Scottish tunes, English folk songs and military marches were some of the performances staged on the river.
Many began gathering more than seven hours before events started despite the cold and wet weather in order to secure a prime spot to watch the monarch and royal flotilla.
Some had travelled across the world to watch the spectacle.
Maggie Boyle, 74, from Auckland in New Zealand, said: "It is all so much fun. All the different boats are amazing.
"Everybody has gone to so much trouble so we are going to stay and enjoy theatmosphere. We couldn't ask for better."
Anglophile Americans Nancy Prall and Christienne Morgan were also among the crowds.
Ms Prall, from Palm Beach, Florida, said she caught the royal bug while living in London and came over especially for the Jubilee.
"We were at the Derby yesterday and we are going to all the events to mark her 60 years of service.
"[The Queen] is a terrific lady," she said.
Ms Morgan, from Newport Beach, California, added: "I just love the Royal Family. They seem so friendly."
The pageant achieved a new world record for the largest parade of boats - surpassing the previous record of 327 boats set in Bremerhaven, Germany, last year.
Meanwhile, millions more people were attending street parties up and down the country as part of 'the big Jubilee lunch'.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were the first royal guests to venture out into the rain as they arrived at a special picnic stretching along London's Piccadilly.
Charles, wearing his trademark double breasted suit, and Camilla, dressed in a raincoat, stopped to chat to revellers in the street.
The royal couple later took their seats at a table where the table cloth, plates and even a cake were decorated with the red, white and blue union flag.
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what do you think?
Wether royalist or not, it should be an historic sight to witness. . Even if you think its a waste of money in these days when working people are suffering so much because of the greed of our criminal politicians. . The last time this happend was when good Queen Elizabeth I reigned. A historic event that even our grandchildrens grandchildren probably wont get to witness. Whatever your opinions, politics or religion. . . Worth a look, we'll not see its like again. .
"But if preparation is the key then what is set to be biggest public event of the Diamond Jubilee should go swimmingly." I thought they where in boats?
Jubilee = Millions of tax payers money flushed down the crapper yet again by these freeloading german royals. For those that say that say they pay for them self with visitors well i say to you know the facts and a simple fact is they cost 7 times more to keep than what they bring in from visitors.
You could always emigrate if you don't like the monarchy
How much better off financially will we be if we have a Republic ?
Yawn... you're boring Mr Eqinox! 7 times eh? You mind quoting that?
People may not like the monarchy. The truth is men and women of this country and of the commonwealth laid down their lives so that we could still have all the pomp and ceremony that great Britain is famous for. Would you rather have a figure head monarch or a republic/dictatorship? I bet the people of Syria would quite happily trade places with you! Then you have people who object to multicultural diversity in the UK all I have to say to them is travel to our "colonies" you'll be shocked to find how multicultually diverse the British commonwealth is Black,Asian,Polynesian, and Inuit to name few not just white. If you don't want to celebrate you know where the door is. God save the queen, god bless the United kingdom of great britain and northern Ireland and god bless the commonwealth and its people
Phylip de la Maziere
What a wast of money just like margrets wedding, anns weading, andrews wedding and charlses wedding, its about time this outdated lot were got rid of. The money could be etter spent on improving health care, the police, the elderly after all the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few! and as for harry he didnt do much good when he dressed up as a N A Z I an insult to all the men and women who gave their lives in defence of his great grandfathers relm ( this is my oppinion)
Yep spend the money on more benefit cheats, outreach co-ordinators, Africa and more pointless causes. Nah, rather the Queen have it than the great unwashed.
No Lorgar but we could spend the money on the NHS which I work for and is crumbling around our ears, education where children are suffering, crime which creates so much miserty, getting people back into jobs by investing in industry. The country is dire so all the pageants in the world will not help it.
No just don't send "aid" to Pakistan so that they can buy "educational materials and schools" when they spend billions of their own money on jets and submarines
You have no soul and less understanding Philip, although you are entitled to your opinion.
Sorry Valerie but it's thanks to useless teachers and incompetent parenting that schoolchildren are suffering not lack of cash. The NHS has billions thrown at it yet it spends it wrongly. Still rather we spend money on ourselves for a change.
Lorgar there are loads of good teachers out there who are working under a lot of pressure with overloaded classes, poor educational materials etc. As for the NHS at the moment we are undergoing assessments where nurses and other hospital workers are being downgraded to peanut wages. It has become so bad a lot of my colleagues are emigrating and I myself will be going back to France, where i lived a few years ago, and which is a marvellous country - and a republic. UK has had it
So all 3 heirs within about 10 foot of each other outside of their usual protection zone. Let hope noone tries anything stupid
Citizens not subjects :-)
I think a waste of money that could have been used in other well earned trouble spots.The queen could 've had a quiet celebration in her own back garden.She doesn't realise how these celebrations are going to affect the public.At this moment they are flooding the streets with 6,000 more police in case of trouble.Do we really need to do this? Then there's the tourists who are causing more kaos on the roads when they arrive.Sounds like the majority of the media don't care about this at all.I hope it rains and pours to teach them all a lesson in economics.
Y`know Parsons you even look like a " happy go lucky devil may care fellow ". Dont get too drunk will you ?
I assume you feel the same about the Olympic games then. clogging up the streets and causing mayhem
If there's one thing (maybe the only thing), we do really well, is a royal event. Congatulations to Her Maj', 60 years, 86 years old age and still working.
Why is the Queen smiling? Because she knows she can minus the cost of celebrations from her income tax.
HA,HA,HA,My Monies are safe and earning interest.
Is it ? How about letting the rest of us in on this best kept secret .
Yes, we all love our Queen but this is o.t.t.I say we should have street parties when we killed Osama Bin Larden,something worth celebrating.
And what's all this about cut backs,what cut backs?There's millions being spent on this furore and no one minds a parking ticket!!
Our dear queen's skill at waving at her ignorant peasants is a sight to behold, we miserable subjects are truly blessed by her godlike waving powers.
Why is it that republicans are so chuffin miserable as people ? Theyve got faces like they lost a tenner and found a penny. . . If they dont like living under a monarch they could always emigrate. . . But not to Spain, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden because they have monarchs as well. We had a republic in the UK once for 11 years under Oliver Cromwell, they turned this country into a military dictatorship and even banned Christmas ! ! And the population was so miserable they brought the monarchy back, after digging up Cromwell's corpse and displaying it publically (dont ban me orange - thats historic fact !) Even if the majority of our people arent fanatic royalists, they have consistantly proven they wish to keep the monarchy. . Who wants a President of United Kingdom ? Again I ask, why are republicans so miserable ?
There was an American on google+ yesterday that commented on the special google mast head that's being used during the jubilee through out the commonwealth and the fact that the British are having two days off for it his exact words were " I wish America had a monarchy"....... It's always good when the citizens of the "greatest democratic" country in the world want to come back
Steve we havn't seen your face yet,don't be shy.I want to know what a royal suck up looks like.
Wake me up when all this bs is finished cant stand the royal famiiy
You know them then Gavin? You have met them all?
I'm not priviliged steve thats why I moan about people who have it all and then spend it on an occasion such as this when it could have been spent on something that's worth spending it on. She's smiling because she knows she's got plenty provided for by us silly lot.
And that gengisken wants to wake up too,there's plenty of 86 year olds that are still working.I'm still working I'm 67 years old.I've got an aching back,a dodgy left knee joint,colitis,and asthma.The Queen's only got to cough and a doctor comes running,no appointments.