Sue Ridley waits on Westminster Bridge for the Royal Barge to pass the House of Commons and the Big Ben clocktower during the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in London, Sunday, June 3, 2012. More than 1,000 boats were to sail down the Thames on Sunday in a flotilla tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne that organizers are calling the biggest gathering on the river for 350 years. Despite cool, drizzly weather, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the riverbanks in London, feting the British monarch whose longevity has given her the status of the nation's favorite grandmother. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)
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.