I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU WILL BE ON SUNDAY, 3 JUNE 2012 BUT I WILL BE BY THE BANKS OF THAMES RIVER IN LONDON FOR THE THAMES DIAMOND JUBILEE PAGEANT!
I WILL BE CARRYING 2 FLAGS, ONE FOR EACH HAND. ONE FLAG WILL BE THE MALAYSIAN FLAG AND THE OTHER THE STATE FLAG OF KELANTAN MY BELOVED HOME STATE.
I WILL BE WAVING THEM MADLY AS THE ROYAL BARGE SAILS DOWN THE THAMES AND SCREAMING 'LONG LIVE THE QUEEN'. THE BRITS WILL ASSUME I AM REFERRING TO HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II BUT I COULD WELL BE SALUTING THE QUEEN OF MALAYSIA SERI PADUKA BAGINDA PERMAISURI AGONG TUANKU HAMIMAH HAMIDUN!
Next year will be the 60th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and one of the highlights will be the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Taking the lead of this flotilla will be the Royal Barge which will head a procession of around a 1,000 other ships, boats, yachts and schooners of all shapes and sizes, making this the largest and greatest boating event in the history of the Thames!
However this flotilla will pale in comparison to what is said to be history's most extravagant, lavish and incredible flotilla led by the golden barge carrying Cleopatra to meet Mark Antony! Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip will sit on thrones atop the barge under a canopy (or maybe openair) but Her Majesty will not be scantily clad as the goddess Venus nor will she be sprawling on cushions sewn with pearls like Cleopatra.
At 86 perhaps it is just as well the Queen of England should be seated upright on a throne and be fully clad in day attire though she could well be clad in ermine robe and wearing a State Crown and accompanying jewels.
The Royal Barge by Tower Bridge
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip will sit under the golden canopy on the thrones
The Royal Barge will also sail past the Houses of Parliament aka Palace of Westminster
THE ROYAL BARGE FOR THE THAMES DIAMOND JUBILEE PAGEANT
On Sunday 3rd June 2012, The Spirit of Chartwell will have top billing as the Royal Barge, carrying The Queen in the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in celebration of her sixty year reign. The Pageant, one of next year’s most exciting events, is unprecedented as the largest flotilla to be assembled on the river in modern times.
Accommodating The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family, the first sight of the Royal Barge on the Thames will be one of the most highly anticipated moments of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Operated by the Magna Carta Steamship company, The Spirit of Chartwell , a luxury Thames river vessel with opulent interiors, will be the most important boat on the Thames in next year’s flotilla. She was chosen for a host of reasons, including size, comfort, safety and manoeuvrability, and consultation took place with a wide number of partners, including the Port of London Authority. Her owner, Philip Morrell, has generously donated the use of the vessel to The Queen for the Pageant. After the event, The Spirit of Chartwell will resume her role as a cruising vessel on the Thames.
The cruiser will be decorated with an original design by Joseph Bennett and Rachel de Thame. Multi-award-winning production designer Bennett’s diverse and distinguished career has included designing films, including Charlotte Gray and Jude, and television, including HBO series Rome, for which he won two Emmy awards. He has also designed commercials, working with photographers such as Steven Klein and Mario Testino and designing celebrated catwalk presentations for the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The design will echo the richly-decorated royal barges of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, reflecting the great historical nature of this event.
The Royal Barge will be adorned with flowers from The Queen’s own gardens by renowned horticulturist, garden designer and TV presenter Rachel de Thame. A member of the Gardeners’ World presenting team since 1999, de Thame also presents Countrywise on ITV and the BBC coverage of the major RHS gardening shows, including The Chelsea Flower Show.
Red, gold and purple – the royal colours - will feature most prominently in the floral arrangements, which will reference the Commonwealth, the Coronation and The Queen’s Gold State Coach. Adrian Evans, Pageant Master, said: “The Royal Barge must be a jewel – the most magnificent vessel in the flotilla. Joseph and Rachel have come up with a truly inspiring design, one that references the Coronation, the Commonwealth, the Gold State Coach and all the traditions of royal barges on the Thames, while creating something that is distinct and modern.”
The Spirit of Chartwell’s owner, Philip Morrell, said: “As The Spirit of Chartwell evolved, I knew we had built something special – ideal, I thought, for the carriage of royalty, but little did I even vaguely suspect that in the course of one short year that we should be graced with such an honour”.
A number of vessels with royal connections will also play prominent roles in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, including the tender of HMS Britannia – known as Britannia’s Royal Barge - which was traditionally used to transport passengers to and from the Royal Yacht. In the Pageant, the tender will play her original role, carrying The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to The Royal Barge, along with two motorboat escorts.
HERE IS ANOTHER LOOK ON A BIGGER SCALE
FOR YOUR INFORMATION...
1; The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is being organised by the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation. The Chairman is Lord Salisbury, who – as Viscount Cranborne – organised the D-Day, VE Day and VJ Day 50th anniversary events. The CEO is Michael Lockett, who has worked on the Hong Kong Handover Ceremony, the Millennium project and London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. He was awarded the CVO for his work on the Golden Jubilee concerts at Buckingham Palace.
2;The Spirit of Chartwell was inspired by the Rene Lalique 1929 Pullman railway carriage ‘Cote d’Azur’. Some original pieces from this railway carriage can be found on board; there are also original fixtures and fittings from some ocean liners as the Union Castles – Windsor Castle & Kenya Castle - the SS France and MS Sneafel.
3; The Port of London Authority (PLA) is the organisation responsible for navigational safety on the tidal Thames.