Time running out to join Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant

The Matthew - a replica of the sailing ship that carried John Cabot to America in 1497

The deadline to apply for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is just over a week away, with applications due to close on Monday 31 October.

The 12.5-mile flotilla is expected to feature over 1000 vessels, from small, fixed-seat rowing boats to large sailing vessels.

‘Time is running out for all those who wish to take part,’ said Pageant Master Adrian Evans. ‘We have had an amazing response and are thrilled with the number and variety of wonderful vessels that have already registered. 

‘This will be the biggest river pageant to take place on the Thames since the reign of Charles II, three and a half centuries ago, and it may not happen again for a very long time.  So if you have a special or interesting boat, don’t miss the possibility of being involved.’

One such boat that has already applied is The Matthew of Bristol (pictured, above), a replica of the sailing ship that carried John Cabot to America in 1497.

Once registration has closed, the process of selecting which boats will feature in the pageant can begin. Evans will head the group responsible for boat selection, which will also include representatives of the river community, boat clubs, and associations.

‘The first consideration will be safety and fitness-for-purpose,’ Evans continued. ‘The Thames is a difficult and dangerous river and we must pay due respect to that.  

‘We will then consider the range of vessel types, looking for those vessels with historical significance or a story to tell. We are also determined to ensure that we have representation from across the UK and the Commonwealth.

‘We want the Pageant to be as spectacular and as exciting as possible and we are looking for boats that will add to that, so the more we have to choose from, the easier it will be to achieve.   

‘Needless to say, it won’t be possible to include everyone, and if your boat is not selected for whatever reason, there will be lots of wonderful opportunities to enjoy the day from the river bank and around London.

‘We want to make sure that everyone has a great time on what will be an extraordinary day as we say thank you to The Queen for her sixty years of service to the Nation and the Commonwealth.’

For more information on the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Pageant and how to apply, visit www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org.