The first weekend in June promises to be a very special one as the country celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, this is an event you won’t want to miss. In London, on June 3rd, there will be a spectacular flotilla of 1000 boats, including the first royal barge to be created in 100 years. The Gloriana was inspired by a Canaletto painting depicting an 18th century flotilla. One barge will carry the London Philharmonic Orchestra who will be playing, among other pieces, Handel’s Water Music, which was composed for a flotilla for George I in 1717.
After enjoying the spectacle, pop along to Borough market near London Bridge where the Wine Pantry will be celebrating with delicious English wines and food.
The flotilla is a reminder that the River Thames has been a royal processional route for centuries. A wonderful exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, “Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames” tells this fascinating story.
Greenwich is a popular day trip from London. You can now visit the restored Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper. The Queen reopened it this month when 300 school children sang an orchestral and choral suite called Diamond Jubilee, written by local composer Errollyn Wallen.
The stunning Painted Hall, a scene in many films, and the Royal Observatory, where you can stand with one foot either side of the Prime Meridan, are more reasons to explore. There are many stories to be told behind this World Heritage Site.
Six weeks after the Jubilee Flotilla, the Olympic Torch will travel along the Thames from Richmond to Tower Bridge en route to the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at Stratford. Greenwich will be hosting the equestrian and pentathlon events.
Gavin Webb is an experienced Viator guide and offers tours all throughout London. Learn more about London Expert Gavin.