Rain Fails to Dampen Diamond Jubilee Spirits
Britons refused to let rain spoil their celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee yesterday. Over one million people went out into the cold and wet weather to watch the flotilla for the Queen. Hundreds of people arrived to the banks of the River Thames early to get their spots, and they arrived prepared for the weather.
The Queen was at the centre of the flotilla on the Spirit of Chartwell, a 200ft luxury cruiser that was turned into a royal barge for the day. Joining the Queen on the Spirit of Chartwell was Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Catherine, and Prince Harry.
The barge was lavishly decorated in a red velvet banner covered in over half a million gold buttons and 10,000 flowers from the royal gardens. The flotilla was inspired by a Canaletto of an 18th-century Lord Mayor’s Day pageant, which was held on the River Thames as well. The flotilla took two years of planning and £10.5 million in donations.
Others simply took their celebrations inside - including Prime Minister David Cameron. The prime minister had originally intended to host a Downing Street party in the garden, and a big screen was set up for guests to watch the royal flotilla. However, just hours before the party started, officials decided to invite the 120 people indoors to enjoy specially decorated jubilee sandwiches and cupcakes in the Terracotta room.
Cameron said that they had a great street party, though it was inside rather than outside Downing Street. They had Scouts, Girl Guides, Brownies, elderly people and others who had been organising the Big Lunch. The youngest guest was four or five and the oldest was 96. It was a great Big Society occasion and real pleasure to host it, he added.