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Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant: Water Music for a Queen

Friday, June 01, 2012

Head of Historic Carving Alan Lamb next to the royal cypher that will decorate the Royal Barge in which Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will travel on the River Thames during the diamond jubilee pageant. Head of Historic Carving Alan Lamb next to the royal cypher that will decorate the Royal Barge in which Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will travel on the River Thames during the diamond jubilee pageant. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty)

England became a dominant power at sea during the time of the first Queen Elizabeth, so it is fitting that one of the many celebrations honoring the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II should be a joyous flotilla.

On Sunday, more than 1,000 vessels will process up the River Thames in London. The participating vessels will include naval yachts; working vessels such as tugs; and steam boats, river barges, passenger boats; and what the event’s official site calls “an exuberance of historic boats.”

All will be dressed in their finest with streamers and Union Jacks. They will be carrying members of the navy, royal heralds and hundreds of ordinary citizens to honor the Queen’s 60-year reign. The celebration will reflect both England’s vibrant maritime history, and the heritage of the River Thames as a witness to history and vital avenue of commerce.

Many of the ships and boats will also offer musical tributes -- from an opening by the Royal Jubilee Bells, to fanfares by the Royal Marine band, to pipe and drum ensembles, to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s closing performance. 

And of course, Handel’s Water Music will be featured, in a performance by the Academy of Ancient Music. The piece was written by Handel for a concert requested by King George I, and had its premiere, from a barge on the Thames, on July 17, 1717. 

The river procession will take place between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. London Time. The pageant will be televised on BBC America beginning at 8:45 a.m. EST.

The route of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Photo credit: The route of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

In New York, there will be a companion event taking place on Sunday. Ten British yachts competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will participate in a parade of sail. This smaller flotilla is expected to pass the Statue of Liberty around 10.30 a.m. to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee and arrive in North Cove Marina in front of the World Financial Center at midday.

Jubilee celebrations in London culminate on Tuesday. A concert honoring Her Majesty featuring Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder will be televised on ABC on Tuesday beginning at 9 p.m.

See a slideshow of boats in the flotilla and the Diamond Jubilee celebration:

Queen Elizabeth II will travel on the Royal Barge on the River Thames on Sunday.
By Joseph Bennett. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Queen Elizabeth II will travel on the Royal Barge on the River Thames on Sunday.
The Spirit of Chartwell, pictured here in front of Hampton Court Palace, will also be part of the pageant.
Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
The Spirit of Chartwell, pictured here in front of Hampton Court Palace, will also be part of the pageant.
As will the Elizabethan, a passenger boat.
Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
As will the Elizabethan, a passenger boat.
Alan Lamb, head of historic carving at City & Guilds of London Art School moulding the Prow sculpture for the Royal Barge.
By Roger Cannon. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Alan Lamb, head of historic carving at City & Guilds of London Art School moulding the Prow sculpture for the Royal Barge.
The Prince of Wales with Lamb and Pageant Master Adrian Evans.
By Steve Stills. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
The Prince of Wales with Lamb and Pageant Master Adrian Evans.
Ann Carrington working on the banner for the Royal Barge.
Photo by Colin Baldwin. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Ann Carrington working on the banner for the Royal Barge.
Silver Jubilee memoribilia is on view now at The Pump House Gallery.
The Pump House Gallery. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Silver Jubilee memoribilia is on view now at The Pump House Gallery.
Gerhard Jenne. A pixelated portrait of The Queen made out of 3,120 cakes, one for each week of her reign, will be made by bakers Konditor & Cook as part of the Jubilee weekend celebrations.
By Ken McKay. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Gerhard Jenne. A pixelated portrait of The Queen made out of 3,120 cakes, one for each week of her reign, will be made by bakers Konditor & Cook as part of the Jubilee weekend celebrations.
Preparation for the portrait of The Queen made out of cakes.
By Ken McKay. Copyright © 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Preparation for the portrait of The Queen made out of cakes.
On Sunday, free 'Queen Masks' were handed out for the Jubilee.
Steven Ehrlich/WNYC
On Sunday, free 'Queen Masks' were handed out for the Jubilee.
Union Jack flags were also out to celebrate 60 years of the Queen's rule, even at the supermarket.
Steven Ehrlich/WNYC
Union Jack flags were also out to celebrate 60 years of the Queen's rule, even at the supermarket.
Pimm's released a collectors brew.
Steven Ehrlich/WNYC
Pimm's released a collectors brew.
Even canines strutted their stuff for the Jubilee.
Steven Ehrlich/WNYC
Even canines strutted their stuff for the Jubilee.
Passersby could get a look at the action on the Thames by watching a JumboTron.
Steven Ehrlich/WNYC
Passersby could get a look at the action on the Thames by watching a JumboTron.
Rain did not dampen the spirits of the revelers, who lined the banks of the Thames to watch the festivities.
Steven Ehrlich
Rain did not dampen the spirits of the revelers, who lined the banks of the Thames to watch the festivities.
People stood on balconies along the river, waiting for the Queen's barge to arrive.
Steven Ehrlich
People stood on balconies along the river, waiting for the Queen's barge to arrive.
Celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on Sunday.
Steven Ehrlich
Celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on Sunday.
One of the musical barges - this one with bells - made its way along the Thames.
Steven Ehrlich
One of the musical barges - this one with bells - made its way along the Thames.
The narrow ships come into view.
Steven Ehrlich
The narrow ships come into view.
Another music barge, this one carrying a band, entertained the crowds.
Steven Ehrlich
Another music barge, this one carrying a band, entertained the crowds.
Loud cheers greeted the Sea Cadets.
Steven Ehrlich
Loud cheers greeted the Sea Cadets.
Historic tall ships that would not fit under some of London's bridges waited at the end of the flotilla route to meet the Queen.
Steven Ehrlich
Historic tall ships that would not fit under some of London's bridges waited at the end of the flotilla route to meet the Queen.
The royal family, including the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry review the flotilla ships from the royal barge.
Steven Ehrlich
The royal family, including the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry review the flotilla ships from the royal barge.
The Parade of Sail on the Hudson took place at the same time as the Jubilee in London.
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Parade of Sail on the Hudson took place at the same time as the Jubilee in London.
Ten British yachts passed the Statue of Liberty at around 10.30 a.m. on Sunday.
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Ten British yachts passed the Statue of Liberty at around 10.30 a.m. on Sunday.

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Sarah Montague

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Comments [2]

Emelia

Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and
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Mar. 07 2013 12:02 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Riichard Wagner Music Drama institute, Boonton, NJ

WQXR's music for the Diamond Jubilee shows class, BUT THE QUEEN'S OWN 1000 vessels on the Thames ACTUAL celebration WAS FREEZING COLD WITH RAIN to boot. Oh, well, they didn't mind that it rained on their parade. Having lived in London myself [on Regent Street], I can appreciate that it being so common that that weather did not "dampen" their enthusiasm for the ROYAL occasion. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where professional actors are trained for the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers are coached in the Wagner roles and voice production and dramaturgy techniques. My next concert in New York will be on Saturday, June 9th at the YOGA EXPO at the New Yorker Hotel . The title of the concert is 'BRING HIM HOME, with that song from the musical LES MISERABLES, encouraging the return of our armed forces and inspiring hope and love of country with This Land is Your Land, The House I Live In, Climb Every Mountain, You'll Never Walk Alone, When Johnnie Comes Marching Home Again, The Impossible Dream [the Quest], Granada, Wien, Wien, nur du allein, Kumbaya, Billy Bigelow's Soliloquy from Carousel, New York, New Yprk, There's No Business Like Show Business, Music of the Night, Florestan's Gott ! welch Dunkel hier !, Dein ist mein ganzes Herz, Memory from Cats, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Federico's Lament from L'Arlesiana and Earth Anthem.

Jun. 03 2012 08:01 PM

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