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2012 0604 xjubilee 01

The Herald-Dispatch

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip leave from Chelsea Harbour in London on a launch on the first part of their journey in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant Sunday June 3, 2012 . More than 1,000 boats will sail down the River Thames on Sunday in a flotilla tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne that organizers are calling the biggest pageant on the river for 350 years. (AP Photo/Eddie Mulholland, Pool)

Gallery: Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee

Jun. 03, 2012 @ 04:48 PM

LONDON — The River Thames became a royal highway Sunday, as Queen Elizabeth II led a motley but majestic flotilla of more than 1,000 vessels in a waterborne pageant to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

In a colorful salute to the island nation's maritime past, an armada of skiffs and sailboats, rowboats and paddle steamers joined a flower-festooned royal barge down a 7-mile (11-kilometer) stretch of London's river.

With a crowd of rain-soaked spectators estimated by organizers at 1.25 million cheering from the riverbanks, the pageant was the largest public event in four days of celebrations of the monarch's 60 years on the throne.

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