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Jubilee #1: Diamond

A flotilla along the Thames to celebrate 60 years on the throne for Elizabeth II

rain 13 °C

For the last 60 years and 118 days (as of today), Elizabeth the second has been the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Queen and head of state of 15 other nations (including my home country of Canada).

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She ascended to the throne on the death of her father on the 6th of February, 1952, and on the second of June, 1953, she was crowned the Queen in her coronation.

In celebration, there is a series of events this year, and most focused on this weekend, the anniversary of her coronation. One of the big events was a 1,000 boat flotilla on the Thames river on 3rd June 2012.

The day was not great, it was gray and rainy and cold. Yet people lined the banks of the Thames from Battersea to the Tower Bridge to see the Queen and the 999 other boats on the river in her honour.

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I was up river from Battersea Bridge, so didn't see the Queen in her barge, but instead in the tender taking her from Chelsea pier to the barge. The Queen was dressed in white, stood beside Prince Phillip in his naval uniform, waving to the crowds.

The Queen in the Tender from the Britannia

The Queen in the Tender from the Britannia


Canadians guarding HRH Elizabeth II

Canadians guarding HRH Elizabeth II

Following that was 2 hours worth of boats. The cold came in, the wind whipped up and finally came the rain. Many people gave up, but I stayed to the bitter end.

Rowing boat Gloriana with Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave

Rowing boat Gloriana with Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave


Letting off some steam

Letting off some steam


God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen


Flotilla passes under Battersea Bridge

Flotilla passes under Battersea Bridge


Flotilla passes in the shadows of Chelsea Wharf

Flotilla passes in the shadows of Chelsea Wharf


Fire Boat in the Flotilla

Fire Boat in the Flotilla

Those that stuck it out were committed, though. And they were loud and happy throughout.

Celebration Flags on Balconies

Celebration Flags on Balconies


Mock crowns for all

Mock crowns for all


Celebrations Along the Thames

Celebrations Along the Thames

I got quite wet, but was quite happy.

Greg gets very wet

Greg gets very wet

After the last boat (a large modern boat carrying the London Symphony Orchestra, playing Rule Britannia) passed under Battersea Bridge, I returned home to watch the rest on TV. The Queen, once reaching Tower Bridge, parked her barge and watched the procession pass her.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip aboard the Royal Barge (Taken from the BBC TV Coverage)

HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip aboard the Royal Barge (Taken from the BBC TV Coverage)

So, Queen Elizabeth the Second, long to reign over us. She is already the 2nd longest serving Monarch in British history. Only a few more years until she is the longest serving British Monarch.

Still a few years to go to be the longest serving ever, however. On his death, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland had served more than 82 years. Queen Elizabeth has another 22 years to match that target.

I hope she does it.

Long to reign over us. God save the Queen.

Posted by GregW 13:50 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events

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