More than 3,000 boats from across the world are vying to take part in a spectacular Thames river pageant to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Organisers have been overwhelmed by the level of interest, with the event already three times oversubscribed and a further rush expected before entries close at the end of the month. Pageant master Adrian Evans said: “This will be the biggest pageant on the Thames since the reign of Charles II three and a half centuries ago.”
Further details emerged today of the preparations for the 1,000-boat pageant on Sunday June 3 2012, which is expected to attract crowds of 1.5million.
The 75-minute procession will be led by the Queen and royal family in a barge specially adapted as a “royal” vessel for the event.
Boats from 92 countries, including entries from across the Commonwealth, will be chosen for their links to the Queen and the Thames. Up to 25 rehearsals are planned to ensure all vessels can cope with the Thames currents and safely navigate through the bridge arches.
The procession will begin with rowed boats – possibly including some Olympic rowers – followed by motorised vessels, longboats, working boats and private vessels. Some 30,000 spectators will be able to take part on board Thames river buses. Fifty giant screens will be erected along the riverbank.
Naval ships will gather east of Tower Bridge alongside tall ships forming an “avenue of sail”, and the barge from the former Royal Yacht Britannia will take part.
Lord Salisbury, chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, said: “This is to say thank you to the Queen for 60 years of service.”
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