The Thames will be brought alive this weekend with clanging bells, tooting horns and piercing whistles and recalling both its Royal heritage and its heyday as a working river. When the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant takes place, it will showcase one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the Thames and the biggest collection of historic vessels.
As crowds of Londoners and tourists will line the route to catch a glimpse of the Queen, they will see more than 1,000 vessels including Dunkirk little ships, Dragon boats, Narrow boats, steam boats and tugs, towing boats, kayaks and canoes from all corners of the Commonwealth. Among them will be two Manx vessels; a lifeboat from the historic Lady of Mann ship (the last vessel present at Dunkirk to survive), now converted as a cabin cruiser and Vital Spark – one of four replica Viking longboats built to be used in the annual world championship Viking longboat races, held in Peel, Isle of Man. Both vessels have significant stories behind them and will play their part in one of the biggest occasions the UK will see this year. At the centre of the pageant will be the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, decorated in red and gold and carrying the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who is now Lord High Admiral in the Royal Navy.
The armed forces, fire, police and rescue services will be represented and passenger boats, carrying up to 30,000 flag-waving members of the public will take part in the floating celebrations of the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
This magnificent miniature sheet, approved by the Queen, will capture the essence of the day’s atmosphere and better still, as a licensed product, a percentage of the sale of every miniature sheet will go to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, the charitable trust set-up to raise funds for charitable projects through The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.