More details emerge of huge Thames flotilla to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee


Blackleaf
#1
The eyes of the world will be on Britain later this year for two reasons: the 2012 London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which mark Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the Throne.

The main celebration of the Diamond Jubilee will be the Thames flotilla, which will take place on Sunday 3rd June. A huge 1,000-boat flotilla will sail down the Thames, a seven-mile long procession of Dunkirk little ships, historic vessels, steam boats, tugs, Dutch barges and passenger ships.

At the centre of the procession will be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh aboard the Pageant's flagship, a modern Thames cruiser called The Spirit of Chartwell, which is being converted into a barge and decorated for the occasion in red and gold.

The flotilla - the largest to sail down the Thames since the reign of Charles II - will be divided into ten sections. There will be a barge with 8 new bells on it, which will ring out along with the bells of London's many riverside churches. There will be a barge with a large flame-throwing dragon and one with daytime fireworks. Special music barges will also play many genres of music.

Also, 30,000 members of the public from all around the Commonwealth will take part in the flotilla with their own boats and hundreds of thousands of people will watch from the banks of the river.

This will be only the second Diamond Jubilee of a British monarch. The last was that of Victoria in 1897. In May 2011, Elizabeth II overtook her great-great-great-great-grandfather George III as Britain's second-longest reigning monarch and, if she is still on the Throne on 10th September 2015, she will overtake her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain's longest-reigning monarch ever.

The pride of Britain! What Queen's flotilla will look like when 1,000 boats take to the Thames to celebrate Jubilee


The Diamond Jubilee's official emblem was designed by 10-year-old Katherine Dewar, from Chester, whose design was chosen from 35,000 entries in a nationwide competition run by BBC children's programme Blue Peter

A spectacular flotilla reflecting Britain’s maritime heritage has been assembled to celebrate the Queen’s 60-year reign, organisers of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant announced today.

The 1,000-boat tribute will feature vessels from down the centuries on the River Thames, a seven-mile long procession of Dunkirk little ships, historic vessels, steam boats, tugs, Dutch barges and passenger ships.

It was also announced that the Prince of Wales will be the pageant’s patron and have a key role when the event is staged during the extended Diamond Jubilee weekend in June.


Spectacular: An artist's impression reveals the flotilla reflecting Britain's maritime heritage that has been assembled to celebrate the Queen's 60-year reign

At the centre of the procession will be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh aboard the Pageant's flagship, a modern Thames cruiser called The Spirit of Chartwell, which is being converted into a barge and decorated for the occasion in red and gold.

It is also likely to carry the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Originally the Queen was to travel in the Gloriana, the hand-built Royal Rowbarge, but security and health and safety issues proved too complex.


Fanfare: Tower Bridge will open to allow the flotilla to pass, cheered on by the throngs gathered to watch from the banks of the Thames

Music is an integral part of the celebrations and pieces commissioned for the event will receive their world premiere on special musical barges.

Classical music, Bollywood anthems, Scottish tunes, English folk songs and military marches are some of the performances that will be staged on the river.

Downton Abbey composer John Lunn was commissioned with nine other film composers to create a new movement using the original titles of Handel’s Water Music for inspiration.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has written the words for a new song with music by composer Orlando Gough which will be performed by singers from across the Commonwealth.

Around 3,000 vessels applied to take part in the waterborne celebrations with pageant master Adrian Evans praising the high quality of those who came forward.

He added: 'I thank everyone who has responded so enthusiastically to this unique event.

'We have a wonderful collection of vessels, a wide spectrum of every type of craft from humble kayaks to magnificent tall ships, with rowed shallops, oyster smacks, steamers, cutters, cruisers and barges.'

A Battersea Park Jubilee Festival curated by Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway and artist Clare Patey will feature a village green, 1952 bandstand tea dance, outdoor cinema and other attractions.

Speaking about Prince Charles’s involvement, a Clarence House spokesman said: 'The Prince is very supportive of the whole concept and is very much looking forward to it.
'He’s taking an interest in it and will be playing an important role on the day.'

The pageant will take place on Sunday June 3, and journey down river from Putney to Tower Bridge. It will travel under 14 bridges, feature 20,000 people on the water and take 90 minutes to pass any given point.


Soundtrack: The flotilla will be divided into 10 sections with music herald barges separating each group, playing music composed especially for the event, including church bells, herald fanfare trumpeters and an orchestra from the Academy of Ancient Music


The 1,000-boat tribute will feature vessels from down the centuries on the River Thames, a seven-mile long procession of Dunkirk little ships, historic vessels, steam boats and tugs, rowed shallops and Dutch barges and passenger ships

Millions of spectators are expected to line the river banks and fill London’s public spaces and it is likely to be watched by an estimated global television audience of hundreds of millions.

The flotilla will be divided into 10 sections, with the music herald barges separating each group.

It will be led by the Royal Jubilee Bells - eight church bells that will sound a quarter peal and be answered by churches along the route - and Gloriana, a hand-built 88ft rowbarge covered in gold leaf.

The first section will include rowed and paddled vessels, including Watermen’s cutters, modern rowing boats, kayaks and Dragon boats.

Following behind will be boats carrying the flags of the Commonwealth nations, realms, territories and dependencies.

The royal section, with support vessels from the former Royal Yacht Britannia, features the pageant’s flagship, the royal barge, with a guard of honour behind.


Original plans saw the Queen travel down the Thames upon Gloriana, the Royal Rowbarge, but security and health and safety issues proved too complex. Instead, the Queen, Prince Philip and other members of the Royal Family will take part in the pageant aboard a modern Thames cruiser called Spirit of Chartwell, which is being converted into a barge for the day

In the fourth section will be the Dunkirk little ships, which plucked British and Allied troops to safety from French beaches in 1940.

Leading the Dunkirk section will be motor torpedo boat (MTB) 102, which was used to help co-ordinate the efforts.

On board was Rear Admiral Frederic Wake-Walker, in charge of the rescue operation in the waters off Dunkirk and marshalling the ships with the aid of a loud hailer.

During Operation Dynamo, more than 300,000 troops were carried to safety by naval vessels with many of the famous 'little ships' - civilian boats of all shapes and sizes - transporting the servicemen off the beaches to the warships.

Marine engineer Richard Basey speaks with pride about MTB 102, which he and a group of enthusiasts have helped keep in the water for more than 15 years.

Mr Basey said: 'She is absolutely beautiful, I always describe her as the sexiest boat in the dock.

'We’re absolutely delighted, we’re honoured to be chosen to take part in the pageant."

Read more: [url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2088304/Thames-Diamond-Jubilee-Pageant-2012-What-Queens-flotilla-look-like.html#ixzz1jpMDaWBr]Thames Diamond
 
Spade
#2
The river Thames: a poisoned, polluted problem? | Environment | The Guardian (external - login to view)
 
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