Leisure boats to play big part in massive 1,000-boat flotilla


The final procession order for June’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant was revealed this morning, with leisure vessels being placed right in the heart of proceedings.

The event, one of the largest public events ever staged in London, will see 1,000 boats travelling down seven miles of river on June 3 to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

In front of a bankside audience expected to number in the millions, the flotilla will carry some 20,000 people along the route and will be so long it’ll take 90 minutes to pass any given point.

Organisers said they were overwhelmed by the applications to take part, with the event three times over-subscribed. Those lucky boaters who’ve been selected to take part have already been informed.

The running order of the event is:

1 Rowed and paddled vessels, led by the 88ft rowbarge Gloriana.
2 Boats carrying the flags of Commonwealth nations, realms, territories and dependencies.
3 The royal section, featuring the royal barge on which the Queen will travel.
4 Dunkirk Little Ships
5 Other historic vessels
6 Working boats
7 Leisure vessels
8 Narrowboats and barges
9 Passenger vessels
10 Passenger vessels

Each section will be separated by music herald barges either carrying bands or pumping out a mix of classical and contemporary music.

Adrian Evans, pageant master and director of the Thames Festival, said: “We have a wonderful collection of vessels, a wide spectrum of every type of craft from humble kayaks to magnificent tall ships.”

Running alongside the pageant, there will be a day-long festival in Battersea Park, where people will be able to watch the flotilla.

Entertainment will include a funfair, competitions, games, food and cookery, fashion and more live music.

Boris Johnson
, Mayor of London, said: “The Thames Pageant and associated events around the capital will not only provide the most fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne but will be an amazing opportunity to show off to the world London’s pride in its heritage and traditions ahead of the Olympics.”

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