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Comment 29 MAY 2012

Thames Jubilee Pageant: Find out who's on which boat for 'greatest show on earth'

29 MAY 2012

Excitement is mounting this week as hundreds of vessels make their way up the Thames to ready themselves for a display that has been billed "the greatest show on earth".

In scenes which will hark back to the exuberant pageants of the 17th and 18th centuries, up to 1,000 vessels – including kayaks, steam tugs, gondolas and whalers; in fact boats of every size and shape, from a classic Riva speedboat built in 1965 to a squadron of Dunkirk Little Ships – take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

An estimated one million people are expected to line the riverbanks and the flotilla, with its 20,000 participants – and its assortment of musical barges – is guaranteed to raise the roof.




The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh, along with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, will board the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, at Cadogan Pier, travelling there from Chelsea Pier on the tender to HMY Britannia.

The Queen was determined to include the younger generation in this special day, and at the pier, the royal party will be met on board by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The Middletons will also be travelling in style, on board the Elizabethan (above). The Prince of Wales has arranged for his former valet to be present on the vessel, making sure the day runs smoothly.

Award-winning production designer Joseph Bennett has transformed the Spirit of Chartwell for the occasion. Seen for the first time in HELLO! Magazine is the magnificent seating area he has created for the Queen and her family, from which they can wave to their adoring public as they travel past.



Joseph tells HELLO! that he wanted this royal viewing platform to be the equivalent of the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

"From the outset there has been a sense of the Queen wanting to give the feeling that this is an inclusive thing. It is about all the family together on the balcony – and about her sprinkling her fairy dust on them," he says.

Find out who will be travelling on which vessel here.

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