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Comment 25 JUNE 2012

Sun comes out for second Thames river pageant at Henley

25 JUNE 2012

It's been just three weeks since the magnificent Diamond Jubilee celebrations defied the British weather on the Thames.

And although it wasn't quite on the same scale, it was dry and sunny as the famous river played host to a second pageant in honour of the Queen.

Henley-on-Thames welcomed the diamond monarch, her husband Prince Philip and around 4,000 guests for the celebration, which was organised by the Lieutenants of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.



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The Queen and Prince Philip arrived at Hambleden Lock at 2.45 pm, before boarding a 130-year steam launch called Alaska – the oldest working passenger steamer on the Thames.

They then travelled to a viewing area at Henley Business Park for the start of the pageant, named Time and The Thames.

Around 30 boats from Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire took part, telling the story of the last 100 years of the river.

The pageant has been divided into seven eras, narrated by four contributors including local hero Sir Steve Redgrave – who was born and lives in Marlow – and Jeremy Irons.

 

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After the river display, the royal couple toured the grounds of the business school and met with members of the community and invited guests.

These included posy givers from schools representing each of the three counties involved.

One of the lucky children chosen is Jordan Blight, 10, from Badgemore School in Henley-on-Thames, who told the BBC: "I am very excited to be meeting the Queen.

"I am looking forward to it but I'm nervous too.

"When my head teacher, Mrs Crockett, announced my name is assembly, I couldn't believe it."

After meeting the crowds, the Queen watched a fly-past before cutting a cake and unveiling a diamond-shaped plaque in honour of her visit.

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