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2012 0604 xjubilee 14

The Herald-Dispatch

Anti-monarchy protesters gather close to the river Thames to voice their protest in central London, where a 1,000-boat flotilla joins Queen Elizabeth II in a pageant along the river Thames as part of the four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne, on Sunday, June 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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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