UK: Royal Navy to Celebrate Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Appropriately enough, HMS Diamond has a part to play in celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the Thames in early June.
In London, men and women from all three Services are taking part in the ceremonial events planned for this summer to celebrate 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s rule.
The spectacle of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is at the heart of the weekend, with almost a thousand small ships and vessels forming an escort for the Royal Barge, which will carry the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Two of HMS Diamond’s seaboats (Pacific 24s) will form part of the marine escort, alongside four ORCs (Offshore Raiding Craft) driven by the Royal Marines of 539 Assault Squadron (539 ASRM).
There will be two of the Navy’s P2000 fleet and two Naval Picket Boats from Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth on hand to accompany the procession along the Thames on Sunday June 3.
The flotilla is expected to be one of the largest ever assembled on the river, and will cover a route of some seven miles, starting at Battersea and ending at Tower Bridge.
Each of the boats and craft taking part will be issued with the Pageant Flag to be flown at all times during the waterborne procession – the flag comes in three different sizes, with a burgee or sticker for those vessels that cannot carry a flag.
One of the music herald barges will contain a Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines to play supporting music for the waterborne parade.
Of course, the RN’s premier musicians will be called into service elsewhere over the Jubilee celebrations – RM bandsmen, along with Army and RAF counterparts, will be heard along the processional route on Tuesday June 5 when the Queen will attend St Paul’s Cathedral for the Service of Thanksgiving.
More than 1,000 personnel from all three Services will be arrayed along the capital’s streets for the carriage procession through the heart of the city on Tuesday June 5.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire a 60-gun salute from Horse Guards Parade to coincide with the procession, and a Guard of Honour from 1st Battalion Irish Guards will perform a feu du joie (fire of joy) on the Queen’s return to Buckingham Palace when she steps onto the Balcony.
General Sir David Richards, Chief of the Defence Staff, said:
“I am delighted that so many members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces have the opportunity to be part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
“Our Service personnel have a unique relationship with the Queen, and I know that those taking part, and their families, will remember these celebrations with great pride.
“The whole of the Armed Forces will be celebrating in their own way, wherever they are serving around the world.”
The Thames Pageant is part of a tradition of lavish regal celebrations upon the Thames – a history that is being marked with a new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
On April 27 the Museum is launching ‘Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames’, guest-curated by historian David Starkey.
Naval Today Staff , April 04, 2012; Image: royalnavy