Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has boarded a ceremonial barge for a 1,000-boat river pageant on the Thames in the centrepiece of her diamond jubilee celebrations.
|People wave from their boat on the River Thames in London. Photo: Reuters|
The queen, dressed in a white hat and a silver and white coat, was
to the barge on the launch of the now-decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia, as
hundreds of thousands of people lining the banks of the Thames cheered.
An eclectic collection of hundreds of rowing boats, cruisers and steam ships had mustered to sail down the river behind the queen's barge. As the queen sailed to the barge, Union Jacks flew from the balconies of apartments which were packed with spectators.
The 86-year-old British monarch boarded the Spirit of Chartwell, a
converted sightseeing boat decorated with flowers from the royal estates, where
other senior royals including Prince William and his wife Catherine were waiting.
Behind the queen's barge was massed a flotilla of steam boats and tugs, speed boats and historic vessels, including Dunkirk "little ships" that evacuated British forces from Europe during World War II, and a Chinese