As you may know, I’ve made mention on the blog of the fact that on Sunday 3 June, a massive flotilla of ships, boats and other sailing vessels will be taking to the Thames to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year. There will over a 1000 sailing vessels on the river as part of the event, and the Queen’s own transportation will be decked out in the style of an Elizabethan Royal Barge, of the sort that used to carry the first Elizabeth between her royal residences along the riverside…
As well as commercial and private vessels, the armed forces, police and fire and rescue will also be there and, of all things, there’s going to be a floating belfry whose chimes will be answered by churches all along the river. People from all over the Commonwealth have been invited to participate – representing Canada will be Canada One/Un Canoe manned by an all-Canadian crew, which was flown into RAF Bryce Norton from Canada on Sunday. One of the crew of Canada One, James Raffan, has set out his thoughts about the event, which you can see in his Youtube video below.
I should probably also disclose that I am actually going to be taking part myself on the day! I will be a guest of City Cruises on one of their pleasure boats – you usually see them plying their trade up and down the Thames showing tourists the sights. As you can imagine, I’m beside myself with excitement at the prospect – I’ll be posting my thoughts on the whole day later, hopefully with a snap or two of the Queen included. If you’re planning on going along yourself, please note that hundreds of thousands of people are expected, so make sure you secure your place early. You should also make note of the bridge closures that will be taking place throughout the event.
As I was down on the Thames today I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the vessels that passed by – I suspect I snapped one of the boats that will be taking part on Sunday. What do you think?