Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant: More than 1m watch Queen pass by

20:46 03 June 2012

The Royal Barge arrives at Tower Bridge during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant along the River Thames, London. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Royal Barge arrives at Tower Bridge during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant along the River Thames, London. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant reached its end as the 1,000-strong flotilla passed under Tower Bridge.

The belfry carrying the Royal Jubilee Bells was the first vessel through, followed by the million-pound row barge Gloriana led by Olympic gold medallists Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave, rowing with 16 others.

A 41-gun salute was fired from the Tower of London to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne while thousands of people cheered on the banks of the River Thames despite the wet weather.

The bascules of Tower Bridge opened for the arrival of the royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, as the Royal Family prepared to take their places on HMS President to watch the rest of the seven mile-long flotilla making its way down the Thames.

The Queen watched from HMS President as the procession of boats and ships continued to pass under Tower Bridge.

The pageant achieved a new world record for the largest parade of boats - surpassing the previous record of 327 boats in Bremerhaven, Germany, last year, Guinness World Records said.

The record was announced as 419 boats reached the bridge, with up to 1,000 vessels expected to complete the pageant.

The final vessel to reach Tower Bridge was Symphony, carrying members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir.

The singers got soaked to the bone as they performed several songs to the royal family including Land Of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and the national anthem.

Fireworks were then set off from the top of Tower Bridge before the bascules of the bridge were lowered as many boats sounded their horns.

An estimated 1.25 million people watched the pageant through London, the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation said.

Guinness World Records said a total of 670 verified boats completed the pageant route to achieve the new world record.

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