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.