The organisers of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant have today released the final details of the 1,000-boat flotilla that will mark the Queen’s 60-year reign.
The seven-mile long flotilla will pass under all 13 Central London river crossings taking in some 25 miles of Thames riverbank and involving up to 20,000 participants on the water.
The jubilee pageant will feature 10 floating music barges – church bells, trumpeters, sea shanties and an Indian-Scottish pipe band will play on the water.
Many of London’s bridges will effectively be pedestrianised for the day and a detailed map identifying viewing areas can be downloaded at www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org
The bridges and riverside areas along the Pageant route will be decorated with flags and bunting for the event, and the Pageant organisers are encouraging riverside properties – both business and residential – to dress their buildings with Jubilee decorations, to add to the celebratory atmosphere on the day.
The Pageant will officially start at around 2.40pm as the Royal Jubilee Bells start ringing and the floating belfry slips its moorings in the Battersea Park area and takes its position as the lead vessel. Immediately behind them is the man-powered section with 265 rowed vessels including Gloriana, rowed by 18 oarsmen and women including Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Steve Redgrave, Paralympic champions and disabled British Servicemen.
The Pageant will be brought to a close with a fitting finale at around 5.30pm as the last vessel in the flotilla, the Symphony, carrying members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir and playing rousing patriotic music, floats between the historic boats in the Avenue of Sail and passes under Tower Bridge.
On the river itself there will be around 190 safety vessels including police boats, Port of London Authority (PLA) launches, and fire and rescue boats.
Safety issues have been paramount to the organisers’ planning of this complex operation and have involved the expertise of many different organisations including the PLA, the Metropolitan Police, London Traffic Police, Transport for London, RNLI and MCA. There will be 5,500 members of the Metropolitan Police and 7,000 of the foundation’s own stewards on duty to ensure that everyone involved with the pageant, from participants to viewing public and riverside residents, are kept safe.