A flotilla of up to 1,000 boats will sail up the River Thames next summer to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Letters have today been sent to the High Commissioners of every Commonwealth country and to the Lord Lieutenants of every country in the UK inviting them to send a vessel to take part in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on 3 June 2012.
More than a million people are expected to line the banks of the river to watch the unique spectacle, which will be one of the major focal points of celebration during the special Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.
A mix of historic and modern boats are set to take part in the event, from steamers to sailing ships, and organisers plan to create a piece of theatre on the water, incorporating music, fireworks and special effects.
The organisation of the event is being led by Lord Salisbury. It will be funded by private donations and sponsorships and administered through a specially-created limited company, the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, which is registered as a charity.
Lord Salisbury said: “We are planning the greatest Thames flotilla for 350 years to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. I believe that we should recognise her sixty years of selfless public service with an event that can properly express our admiration and gratitude. The Pageant is just that. It seems entirely right, in view of the Queen’s dedication to the Commonwealth idea, that young people from all parts of the Commonwealth should be the beneficiaries of such a legacy.”
The pageant site could stretch from Putney Bridge in the West to Tower Bridge and onwards to Canary Wharf in the East.
To take part, vessels must be capable of travelling at four knots through the water for two hours. To register your interest, visit the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website.