On February 6, 1952 King George VI died (the king featured in the film The King’s Speech) and his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, became Queen. 60 years later we are celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.
On June 3rd there will be a flotilla of a thousand boats sailing along the River Thames. A new state barge, the Gloriana, will transport the Royal Family and will be rowed by former Olympic rower, Sir Steve Redgrave who will join 17 of the Queen’s oarsmen. It will be decorated with £4,000 of gold leaf and its design is based on a Viking craft and resembles the boat used by the Lord Mayor in the early 1800s. The Lord Mayor’s Show used to take place on the river which is why we have “floats” in processions!
They will be accompanied by a “herald barge” with the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing music including Handel’s Water Music, plus music specially written for the occasion with performances by some of Britain’s best known musicians.
At the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich there is a Royal River exhibition and at the Victoria and Albert Museum you can enjoy Cecil Beaton’s famous photos of the Queen. The National Portrait Gallery will be showing “The Queen Art and Image” exhibition from mid-May bringing together over 60 portraits of Her Majesty.
To get more of an insight into the Royal Family, come on my Diamond Jubilee Tour which includes visits to Westminster Abbey to explore where the coronation took place and to see the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. You will find out about the royal finances and visit some of the shops which supply goods to the royal household.