Queen Elizabeth II joined by spectacular 1,000-boat flotilla for Diamond Jubilee celebration

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The River Thames in London was a spectacular sight on Sunday with an extravaganza of steam boats, tugs, speed boats and historic vessels as part of festivities for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The Queen joined the armada of 1,000 boats in a gilded royal barge as revelers braved the rainy weather to help celebrate the occasion by waving flags, popping bottles of champagne and cheering.

The 86-year-old queen celebrates her 60th anniversary since taking the throne in 1952. She is the second-longest serving monarch. According to Reuters, only five other kings and queens in British history have reigned for 50 years or more: Victoria (63 years), George III (59 years), Henry III (56 years), Edward III (50 years), and James VI of Scotland (James I of England) (58 years).

Crowds brave rain for Queen Elizabeth’s giant jubilee armada
Mike Collett-White and Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth joined a spectacular armada of 1,000 vessels on Sunday for the most dazzling display of British pageantry seen on London’s River Thames for 350 years, watched by cheering crowds celebrating her 60th year on the throne.

Pealing bells greeted the flotilla as the queen’s gilded royal barge sailed alongside a colorful and eclectic array of boats from leisure cruisers and yachts to a Hawaiian war canoe and Venetian gondolas.

Typically inclement British weather failed to dampen enthusiasm, with hundreds of thousands of onlookers, waving “Union Jack” flags, massed on the riverbanks to catch a glimpse of the procession along the seven mile (11 km route).

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