The Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years of The Queen’s reign, and various events have been taking place over the central celebratory weekend of 2 to 5 June 2012, with a large contingent of military involvement.
The final day of the weekend’s celebrations began this morning with a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Lining the steps into St Paul’s were personnel from all three Services, including members of the Household Cavalry.
The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry, the Band of the Welsh Guards, and the Royal Air Force Fanfare Trumpeters performed at the service of thanksgiving.
In the afternoon, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals) provided a Sovereign’s Escort of nine officers and 109 other ranks for Her Majesty The Queen for a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.
The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry rode along the route ahead of the procession. Read about the Household Cavalry’s preparations at Related News.
The processional route was lined with more than 1,000 personnel and military musicians from all three Services. These included officers and other ranks from:
• ships, submarines, the Fleet Air Arm and land establishments of the Royal Navy
• the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards of the Household Division, and the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, from the Army
• the Queen’s Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment), from the Royal Air Force.
Tri-Service bands lined the processional route alongside the street-liners. These were:
• a Band of the Royal Marines
• the Bands of the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards of the Household Division
• a Band of the Royal Air Force.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery performed a Gun Salute from Horse Guards Parade to coincide with the carriage procession.
A Guard of Honour of three officers and 101 other ranks from the 1st Battalion Irish Guards were on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s return in the carriage procession.
When Her Majesty appeared on the balcony, the Guard of Honour performed a ‘feu du joie’. Translated as ‘fire of joy’, a feu du joie is a ceremonial celebration whereby a salute is fired by rifles in rapid succession along a line of troops and back again, interspersed with bars of the National Anthem.
The feu du joie was last performed in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 80th birthday, following the Queen’s Birthday Parade in 2006.
The day and weekend’s official celebrations ended with a flypast by the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows.
The formation flew down the Mall as the Royal Family watched from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The flypast included a Dakota flanked by two King Air aircraft, a Lancaster, Spitfires and a Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, ahead of the Red Arrows who made their entrance seconds later.
Officer in Command of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Squadron Leader Ian Smith said:
The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are honoured to be leading the Flypast for Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
As a Service the RAF is enormously proud of its heritage, and the opportunity to fly over Buckingham Palace for Her Majesty with the nation’s aviation heritage is something that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
Leading the nine Red Arrows following the Memorial Flight and closing the ceremonies was Squadron Leader Jim Turner in Red 1:
We are all extremely proud to be part of this auspicious event and to be a part of aircraft from the Royal Air Force at this tri-Service celebration,” he said.
We would like to offer our congratulations to Her Majesty on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.
Get the latest updates on these events at the Defence HQ Twitter page. See Related Links.