Happy and Glorious – The Diamond Jubilee River Pageant

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I’ve said it before that no one does pomp and ceremony like the British and this was true again yesterday as the Diamond Jubilee Pageant processed down the River Thames.

This was a most splendiferous occasion and I was fortunate to be a part of it, as I was on board one of the vessels in the Pageant.

Given the weather I was pleased to be on the KPMG Thames Clipper

This is certainly the largest theatrical event I imagine I’ll ever be a part of. Thankfully all my “part” required was for me to eat, drink, and wave a flag! 1000 boats, 7 miles long and with around 1 million people watching live on the banks of the Thames, and millions more watching around the world it was truly spectacular. I was fortunate that I could recline on a comfy clipper seat for most of the event, Her Majesty stood for the entire event, she’s an amazing woman.

A patriotic Pimm’s, a great start to the pageant.

We were especially fortunate as the Clipper fleet brought up the rear of the Pageant, so we watched the entire 7 miles worth of boats go past us first.

The campanologists ringing their bells at the vanguard was a great way to start the event, and theatrical leading man John Barrowman was onboard, and seemed to be having a whale of a time.

Ring Dem Bells

This boat (fear not I’m not going to talk about EVERY boat in the Pageant!) was followed by the new ornate Gloriana as the medal winning rowers came past, I was glad I was on board a jet propulsion vessel.

Chap in red at the front has it easy on this boat.

I’m a Governor of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and I’m in awe of what their brave men and women do to save lives at sea. So it was especially satisfying to see them at work assisting with the Pageant, but also to see some of their historic boats as part of the Pageant, most notably their brand new Lifeboat design the Tamar Class, they’ve named the first of these rightly The Diamond Jubilee and HRH the Duke of Kent was on board this one.

The new Tamar – The Diamond Jubilee, in calmer waters for now, it’ll soon be going out in all weathers to save lives.

The new Hurly Burly stationed at London Tower Lifeboat Station, the event couldn’t have run without the support of the RNLI.

Other highlights and sights follow:

Ben Fogle glad to be rowing the Thames rather than the Atlantic

Each flag of the Commonwealth carried by the Sea Cadets.

WWII Torpedo boat – lovingly restored

Largest flag in the fleet goes to Cornwall!!

Fire Fighting boat looking like a water feature

The Queen after she’d gone past us, I was too busy waving my flag to take a picture as she went past.

Strawberries and Cream – YUMMY

My thanks to KPMG for allowing me to be a part of this historic and special event, kudos to the organisers who pulled this altogether without a single hitch, their three years of planning and preparation paid off. Truly an event and day I’ll remember forever.

God save our gracious Queen,

Long live our noble Queen,

God save the Queen.


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