The Long Walk at Windsor Great Park

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Marked with Seven-Mile Long Flotilla

Celebrations marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will include a seven-mile long flotilla of 1,000 boats along the River Thames, it has been revealed. 

By James Orr

How the royal barge, The Spirit of Chartwell, will look as it passes under Tower Bridge   Photo: EPA

Organisers of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant said the “unique spectacle” would travel under 14 bridges and take 90 minutes to pass any given point.

It will include a total of nine separate sections of differing vessels, from Dutch barges and steam boats to row boats and even kayaks.

The flotilla will be led by Gloriana, a hand-built, 88-foot rowbarge, while the second section will see boats carrying the flags of Commonwealth nations. 

Lord Salisbury, Chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, said: “Our aspirations for this wonderful tribute to The Queen are coming together very well.

“We are delighted that The Prince of Wales has agreed to be our Patron. This is a hugely ambitious project and it is gathering momentum day by day.”

The event to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years as monarch will take place on Sunday, June 3, between Putney and Tower Bridge. 

The fourth section of the vast display will incorporate the Dunkirk Little Ships - private boats that helped rescue British troops from the coast of Dunkirk in 1940 - followed by historic vessels in the fifth.

Organisers say working boats, including steam boats and tugs, will come next followed by an array of leisure vessels, Dutch barges and passenger vessels.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, with other members of the Royal family, will be on board the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell, decorated and adorned for the occasion at the head of the royal section of the flotilla.

Music will also be an integral part of the celebrations and pieces commissioned for the event will receive their world premiere on special barges.

Classical music, Bollywood anthems, Scottish tunes, English folk songs and military marches are some of the performances that will be staged on the river.

Downton Abbey composer John Lunn was commissioned with nine other film composers to create a new movement using the original titles of Handel's Water Music for inspiration.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has written the words for a new song with music by composer Orlando Gough which will be performed by singers from across the Commonwealth.

Applications to take part from boat owners throughout the UK have been three times oversubscribed.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, "I am proud that London can play such an important role in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and there couldn’t be a better start to an outstanding summer of awe-inspiring events in the capital.

“The Thames Pageant and associated events around the capital will not only provide the most fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne but will be an amazing opportunity to show off to the world London's pride in its heritage and traditions ahead of the Olympics by hosting the most glorious homage to the past as a curtain raiser to a prosperous future."

1 comment:

yacht insurance said...

This show of boats will be an amazing site and something that happens only once a lifetime. A great way to celebrate the long reign of our queen.