Australian roles in London for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Aussies in beachwear aboard surf boats will join a flotilla of more than 1,000 vessels on London’s river Thames for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
AUSSIES in beachwear aboard surf boats will join a flotilla of more than 1,000 vessels on London’s river Thames for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Greater detail of June celebrations to mark the monarch’s 60 years on the throne were revealed on Wednesday, including the involvement of Commonwealth countries in a maritime spectacular expected to attract a massive global audience.
“We have surfing boats from each of the Australian states with participants dressed for surfing,” pageant master Adrian Evans told reporters in London.
The 3 June Jubilee boat pageant will see vessels travel some 40km eastwards along the Thames, passing beneath 14 bridges, taking about 90 minutes to pass any given point.
“We have a wonderful collection of vessels, a wide spectrum of every type of craft from humble kayaks to magnificent tall ships, with rowed shallops, oyster smacks, steamers, cutters, cruisers and barges,” Mr Evans said.
“There will be a series of outrigger canoes from New Zealand.”
The privately funded pageant with a budget of some $US10 million ($A9.67 million) will see the Queen and Prince Philip travel on a 68-metre royal barge, The Spirit of Chartwell, while the journey of other senior royals is yet to be confirmed.
Leading the flotilla will be a hand-built 27-metre rowing barge, Gloriana, built specially for the jubilee celebration, followed by rowed and paddled vessels expected to include the Australian and New Zealand participants, plus modern row boats, kayaks and dragon boats.
There will be 10 sections of vessels, interspersed by musical performances including the world premiere of the Jubilant Commonwealth Choir, featuring 120 amateur singers and five soloists, some of whom will represent Australia.
While some 20,000 people are due to participate in river activities on the day of the pageant, millions of spectators are expected to line the Thames bank, while others will gather in London parks for celebrations.
Chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation Lord Salisbury said preparations for the event are “coming together very well”.
“This will be a UK event of course but it will also be an event for the wider Commonwealth to which the Queen has dedicated herself throughout her reign,” Lord Salisbury said.
As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit Australia and New Zealand during 2012 as the Queen sends members of the royal family to visit the 15 realms where she remains the head of state, and other major Commonwealth countries.
The Queen is the second longest serving monarch behind Queen Victoria, who ruled for 63 years. - AAP