A great woman. If she lives to the age that her mother lived she's going to be on the Thone for another 15 years or so and become the country's longest-reigning monarch ever.
Also, the eyes of the world will be on London in 2012. Not just because of the Olympics but also because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Events will be taking place all over London and all over the country to celebrate only the second Diamond Jubilee in British history, and the first since Queen Victoria's in 1897.
I'm especially looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, which will be the biggest flotilla to sail down the Thames since the reign of Charles II and it will be led by the Queen in a magnificent golden barge.
On 3rd June 2012 - six weeks before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics - to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, there is to be a huge flotilla of 1,000 boats sailing down the Thames.
The Diamond Jubilee River Pageant will feature boats of every shape and size and they will come from all over the world, but mainly from the other Commonwealth nations. The boats will range from rowing boats and sailing ships to steamers, wooden launches and larger motorised craft. The boats will be bedecked with Union Jacks, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs. The huge flotilla will be seven-and-a-half-miles long and the boats will carry between 30,000 and 40,000 members of the public. The public will also be invited to take part with their own vessels. It will be the largest such flotilla to sail down the Thames since 1662, since the reign of Charles II. It will travel about seven miles along the river from Hammersmith to Greenwich.
The flotilla will be made up of five sections each separated by a "herald barge", the first of which will be a floating belfry of eight new bells cast by the Whitechapel Bell foundry in east London and commissioned by the 17th Century City Church of St James Garlickhythe.
Their peals will be answered and echoed by chimes from riverbank churches along the route.
Other barges will feature water jets and sprays - reminiscent of the old Thames firefighting boats. There will be live entertainment and music from the six decades of the Queen's reign, while a pyrotechnic barge hosts daytime fireworks and a mechanical flame-spitting dragon.
At the head of the flotilla will be the Queen herself. She won't go the whole distance along the route but will ride down the river from Putney to Tower Bridge in an exquisite Thames sailing barge temporarily converted to look like an ornate 18th-century royal galley of the sort that used to convey her Hanoverian ancestors
The flotilla will include representatives from the armed forces and the emergency services, plus passenger boats carrying up to 30,000 people.
The government has designated Tuesday 5 June 2012 as a bank holiday for the jubilee, while the late May bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4 June, to enable a four-day weekend of events.
Lord Salisbury said it would be the "greatest Thames flotilla for 350 years". Lord Salisbury, chairman of the Thames jubilee foundation, whose Cecil family ancestors have organised royal pageants since Tudor times, tried a touch of the demotic: "Charles II's pageant in 1662 claimed to have 10,000 boats, but I am sure that was journalistic licence. My direct ancestor at that time was Nell Gwynne, the king's Protestant wh ore, so that's who I am descended from."
There was a much smaller flotilla sailing down the Thames to celebrate the Queen Silver Jubilee in 1977.
http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/ (external - login to view)
The Spirit of Chartwell, a luxury river boat, will be converted into the Royal Barge for the highlight of next year’s celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
The barge, which holds up to 100 guests, features opulent interiors inspired by the Orient Express’s art deco “Pullman Côte d’Azur” railway carriage, created by the feted French designer René Lalique in 1929. The boat features original artefacts from the train.
More than 200 ft long and with a maximum cruising speed of 12 knots, it is equipped with a grand piano and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.
The boat will be redecorated as a Royal Barge by Joseph Bennett, an acclaimed film production designer who has created sets for films including Charlotte Gray starring Cate Blanchett.
The Royal Barge will lead the grandest river pageant for more than 300 years, featuring 1,000 boats and up to 40,000 people on the river which is expected to attract more than a million spectators. For every place on the flotilla, there were three applications.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will also include an equine pageant at Windsor Castle in May where more than 500 horses and 800 performers from around the world will perform a 90-minute equestrian display.
The Big Jubilee Lunch will also be held on Sunday June 3, where millions of people are expected to take part in street parties to toast the Queen’s 60-year reign.
The following day, thousands of “Diamond Jubilee beacons” will be lit around Britain and the Commonwealth.
He has also designed catwalk shows for the fashion house Alexander McQueen, one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite labels.
The Royal Barge, star of the show for Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, is revealed - Telegraph (external - login to view)
Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 18th, 2011 at 11:27 AM..