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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Crowds turn out to see Jubilee armada

6th June 2012

Over a million people turned out to see the spectacular procession of boats travel along the River Thames to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee despite the rain.

Around 1,000 boats and ships took part in the river pageant and crowds, including many staying at central London hotels over the Jubilee weekend, lined the banks to catch a glimpse of the royal family.

The Gloriana rowboat led the way for the lavishly-decorated Spirit of Chartwell, which carried the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as other members of the family including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and led the flotilla from Battersea to Tower Bridge.

It is the first time that a pageant of this size has been held on the River Thames since the time of King Charles II in 1662 and it is likely to be a world-record beating event.

According to Guinness World Records a total of 670 verified boats completed the pageant route, with many of the smaller craft battling the elements.

Ian Gilbert from Surrey and skipper of the Dunkirk little ship Papillon, told the Guardian: "When you're at the helm you tend to miss a lot of what's going on because you're just so focused, but it was very enjoyable and it was all worth it.

"I don't think anyone will put a show like this on again in our lifetime. We're particularly proud because we had the biggest contingent of any association and I think that shows the importance of these little boats to the country and to the sovereign."

A 41-gun salute was fired from the Tower of London and the royal family boarded HMS President to watch the flotilla pass by.


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