Monday, February 6, 2012

The Thames Pageant!

Over the past weekend, England's Queen Elizabeth II began celebrating her Diamond Jubilee! 60 years on the thrown of England! How marvelous! She came to the thrown on February 2, 1952, and her coronation took place on June 2nd, 1952. She is the longest reigning monarch in England since Queen Victoria, who reigned 50 years.(By the way, the Jubilee can be for 50 or for 60 years).
To mark the event, there will be many celebrations over the next few months, but the most interesting to me is the Thames Pageant! It calls for about 1,000 boats of various sizes to gather for an incredible tribute to the Queen, with a flotilla over seven miles long, and with original music composed for the event, performed along the way! The event pays tribute to Britian's famed maritime history.
The Queen and her family will be traveling on the royal barge, The Spirit of Chartwell, down the fourteen mile parade route, from Hammersmith in West London to Greenwich, where the Royal Naval Academy is located.
The barge will be decorated with flowers in all the royal colors, and the pageant master Adrian Evans, says, it must be " a jewel...the most magnificent vessel in the flotilla!"
The last time there was such a spectacular procession on the Thames was for Lord Horatio Nelson's funeral procession in 1806, but of course, it was sombre and quiet. This procession, on the other hand, will be filled with life, color, radiance!
If you go to the following link, you will see a site donated to the Thames Pageant, and the animated header at the top of the page is charming, whimsical!

And, of course, one of the brilliant things about the ride along the Thames will be the fact that the skyline, with a few modern buildings, remains the same as ever. If you take away the London Eye (the gigantic carousel), and the "Gerkin" (the Sir Norman Foster building in the financial district), you could find yourself in Nelson's time, or further back to Henry III's barge rides along the Thames. This is part of the magic of London!

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