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2012 0604 xjubilee 04

The Herald-Dispatch

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall join the Queen, unseen, on board the Spirit of Chartwell for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in London Sunday June 3, 2012. On a luxury barge festooned with flowers, Queen Elizabeth II sailed down the River Thames Sunday amid a motley but majestic flotilla of 1,000 vessels, mustered to mark her 60 years on the British throne. The pageant was a nod to Britain's maritime heritage and one of the biggest events on the river for centuries. (AP Photo/ Stefan Rousseau, 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.