Bring your boat round to the Thames

Yachting Monthly readers are invited to join the £8 million Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant which will celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne next year on 3 June.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced the pageant at London’s City Hall today. He was joined by organiser Lord Salisbury.More than 1,000 boats laden with 30,000 passengers will follow the Queen’s barge – a converted Thames spritsail barge, with celebratory scrollwork attached to it – from Putney to Tower Bridge.

Here, downstream of the bridge an ‘Avenue of Sail’ will gather including Thames sailing barges, oyster smacks, Tall Ships, Dunkirk Little Ships and sailing yachts, which will then proceed downriver to Limehouse Reach. It will be the biggest river pageant for 350 years, watched by more than a million people on each bank of the Thames.

A floating belfry with eight ringing bells will follow the Queen’s barge and fire-hoses, fireworks and ship’s hooters will herald the flotilla as it drops down the Thames on the ebb at a steady four knots.

The pageant will celebrate the Commonwealth and launch a charity which hopes to raise £100 million for sporting activities across the UK and the world.

‘Yachting Monthly readers should send us an email and we will consider every request,’ Adrian Evans, pageant master, said. The pageant will act as a curtain raiser for the London Olympics which start the following month on 27 July.

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