3 Jun 2012

River Thames pageant for Queen's Jubilee

10:17 pm on 3 June 2012

Celebrations in Britain to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee take to the water as spectators flock to the Thames to watch the Queen's barge lead a 1000 strong flotilla.

The nautical parade, marking 60 years of her reign, promises to be the most spectacular in London for 350 years.

A Maori waka will be one of the vessels to join the flotilla.

Millions more Britons are expected to take part in Jubilee parties, outdoor concerts and fairs across the country.

The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other senior royals will travel from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge aboard a lavishly adapted royal barge - the Spirit of Chartwell - decorated with almost 10,000 cut flowers.

The BBC reports some 20,000 people are expected to be in the boats of the flotilla.

The £10m cost of the event has been met by private donations but the security costs will be paid for by the taxpayer.

Gun salute begins celebrations

Formal ceremonies to mark the four days of Diamond Jubilee celebrations opened with a 41-gun salute outside the Tower of London and more salutes in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The Queen enjoyed a day at the races on Saturday, attending the Derby at Epsom in Surrey, one of the UK racing calendar's richest events.

The monarch watched race favourite Camelot win the Derby and presented trophies to the winning jockey, trainer and owners.

On Monday, Buckingham Palace hosts a pop concert before 4000 beacons are lit across Britain and around the Commonwealth.

The celebrations culminate on Tuesday with a memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral, a carriage procession through central London and a fly-past by present and former Royal Air Force aircraft.