A flotilla along the Thames to celebrate 60 years on the throne for Elizabeth II
03.06.2012 - 03.06.2012 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).
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.
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.
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.
Those that stuck it out were committed, though. And they were loud and happy throughout.
I got quite wet, but was quite happy.
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.
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.