Britain’s Queen Joins Giant Flotilla for Jubilee Celebration

Posted June 3rd, 2012 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth joined a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats on the River Thames Sunday as part of her diamond jubilee celebration — marking 60 years on the throne.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the river's edge despite the rainy weather to cheer on the monarch for a spectacle not seen on such a scale for some 350 years. The red, white and blue of the British “Union Jack” flag decorated buildings and people as bells rang out across London.

The queen, dressed in a silver and white dress and hat ensemble, smiled and waved to the crowds from the gilded royal barge alongside her 90-year-old husband Prince Phillip, heir Prince Charles and his eldest son Prince William. William's new wife Kate also joined the family, wearing a vivid red Alexander McQueen dress and matching hat.

The four-day celebration of the queen's six decades on the throne officially began Saturday after recapturing the world's attention nearly a year after William and Kate's marriage grabbed a global audience. Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, is the only other British monarch who reached a diamond jubilee, which she celebrated in 1987 when the British empire extended across much of the globe.

Later Sunday, Queen Elizabeth is expected to attend a concert in the company of her family members and thousands of subjects. At least 6,000 security guards will be deployed during the event.

On Monday, the 86-year-old monarch will light the national beacon while thousands of other beacons will be lit across the Commonwealth. On Tuesday, she and her husband, Prince Philip, are scheduled to attend a thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral. The royal family will make a balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace Tuesday afternoon, wrapping up the jubilee.

Elizabeth succeeded her father King George after his death in 1952 and was crowned the queen of the seven Commonwealth countries — the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka — the following year.