Buy Tickets: Belfast Tall Ships Festival
Tall Ships Cruises, Hospitality, Fireworks
It was probably the wettest day of 2012 so far but in true Brit style the torrential rain did nothing to deter the crowds and excitement building around the Thames for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. More than one million rain soaked spectators gathered along the river as 1000 vessels made the record breaking journey between Battersea and Tower Bridge to celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
Topsail and Thames Leisure had the mammoth task of organising not one, but eight separate events on our vessels which were moored up in the Avenue of Sail near the finish line. The static moorings offered our passengers an unrivalled and unique position to watch the Queen and her pageant sail by.
It was one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river with rowing boats, historic boats, working boats and pleasure boats of all shapes and sizes coming together, beautifully decorated and turned out in their finest rigs for this magnificent day.
The pageant’s jewel in the crown was the Royal Barge – Spirit of Chartwell – which drew huge cheers. Onboard was the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The spectacular Tower Bridge raised as the royal barge approached… and heavy rain returned to the London skies.
The energy and enthusiasm on the day was fantastic with families spanning generations waving and cheering the Queen by. With 10 musical barges adding to the atmosphere, the rain was almost forgotten. The overwhelming general consensus is that it was an amazing and unforgettable day – the Pageant was without a doubt, the highlight of the weekend celebrations.
“We all had a really fantastic time. You had lovely staff on board, the food was great, and the whole event was something we will all remember for the rest of our lives” – Katie, onboard Tideway