News Update :

Queen Elizabeth leads giant jubilee river pageant

Saturday, June 9, 2012

UK: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sails on a royal barge down the River Thames Sunday as part of a huge pageant marking her diamond jubilee, in one of the biggest events of its kind in London's history. The flotilla of more than 1,000 boats is the high water mark of the national celebrations for the 86-year-old monarch's 60th year on the throne but the event also poses formidable security challenges.

More than one million revellers are expected to watch the extravaganza of steam boats and tugs, speed boats and historic vessels in the first pageant on this scale on London's river since 1662.

Dunkirk “little ships” that evacuated British forces from Europe in World War II and a Chinese dragon boat are also among the vessels accompanying the queen and other royals on the 11-kilometre (seven-mile) journey.

Avid fans of the royals camped at the riverside from Saturday, enduring heavy rain that hit the city overnight to ensure the best possible view.

“We found out with the wedding last year that it gets very busy. We need to be in front,” said Kelly Craig, 41. “It's a milestone in our life and the life of the royal family,” said Mike Smith, 65, who had travelled from Sheffield in northern England.

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