The organiser of the Diamond Jubilee boat pageant has stressed that it will provide a loud spectacle for those taking part and those watching from the river bank.
Adrian Evans, the Diamond Jubilee pageant master, told the Guardian the procession has taken two years of planning and extensive fundraising but will be worth it when the thousands of boats take to the water on June 3rd.
“What would be a great legacy, I think, would be if this great pageant did revitalise people’s passion for their river,” said Mr Evans.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee pageant will cost £12 million but is set to be one of the main events designed to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne. The last time such a large floating procession was organised was in 1662 under the reign of Charles II.
Millions of people, including those enjoying Jubilee London hotel deals, are expected to line the River Thames to get a glimpse of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other royal family members as they make their way in to central London.
“There’s a real exhilaration of hearing loud things from the river…This is about majesty, a sense of pride, a country coming together to celebrate,” explained the pageant master.
The flotilla will take 90 minutes to travel from Putney to Tower Bridge and will be led by a 27-metre rowbarge, while the royal family will travel on the Spirit of Chartwell, a red and gold cruise boat.
Other events marking the Queen’s Jubilee are being held across the city during the special bank holiday weekend at the start of June, including a vehicle procession by the Queen, a concert and picnic in the grounds of Buckingham Palace and a number of exhibitions celebrating various aspects of the Queen’s 60-year reign.