Diamond Jubilee River Pageant

Date: Sun, 3 June, 2012
Time: 6:30-10:30am PST
Live broadcaster: CBC

I’d thought perhaps I could watch the Diamond Jubilee prior to going to church for the 11am service. I was incredibly tired – I am not a morning person – but I refused to not watch the River Pageant on the Thames as it was happening in London, England, so I sat in bed and balanced my laptop on my thighs. I had already been wearing my Diamond Jubilee Union Jack headband from my bf’s sister since the night before (I didn’t realise it until I observed the patriotic crowd in their Union Jack accessories and clothes).

I managed to find CBC’s livestream after 5 min. of searching around (really, they should have the link on their main Jubilee page!) just in time to see the Queen and Duke arrive at the docks. I was quite surprised that she’d chosen white, for she always seems to appear in colourful outfits. Nevertheless, the Swarovski crystals and the silver threading on her white outfit and hat reminded me of the Empress Sisi. The Queen’s outfit & hat by Angela Kelly was fit for an empress!

The next royal I was looking forward to was the Duchess of Cambridge, of course. No sooner did she appear on the screen did I quickly take in all she was wearing. I really liked her outfit by McQueen at first, but on closer inspection, realised that I liked only the cut of the bodice (?) and the pleated skirt. I much preferred her hat by Lock & Co, for it reminded me of the black beret (with the ‘Hawaiian’ flower) she’d worn at one of the Jubilee events two-three months ago. Yet, again, on closer inspection, I realised that I was not, in fact, a fan of the hat. I decided then that Kate looks stunning in everything and anything – she could make everyone think that the outfits and hats were to die for! (That said, I really did like her lace McQueen dress she wore to the Thanksgiving service on 5 June. That was definitely a success.)

Now that I’d seen what the rest of the royals were wearing (the outfits and fascinators of princesses Beatrice & Eugenie were… I think a disaster, though I have nothing against the princesses and am a fan of them. I am no fashionista so perhaps I was unable to appreciate their choice of apparel due to my lack of taste. Perhaps I’m too old-fashioned? Too traditional or safe? I did like Eugenie’s Union Jack nails though – that’s a win!), I redirected my attention to the extremely well-organised River Pageant flotilla. I cannot row, though I should certainly like to learn how to someday. Running 10km is a work out but I could hardly imagine what rowing 7mi/11k at 4 knots would be like. Apparently, some of our Canadians were having trouble keeping pace, which, had they actually slowed down and disrupted the order, would have seen them sent off to the side (in other words, they’d be out!). It was wonderful to see our Canada 1 canoe (cute outfit!), as well as our First Nations (were they freezing?) canoe (you can probably tell that I prefer costumes and tradition). Of course, a round of applause to the rest of ‘Team Canada’ for doing an excellent job at rowing!

Favourite parts of the River Pageant (other than what I’ve already mentioned above):

  • the many boats carrying the flags from the Commonwealth
  • the royal barge and Gloriana – loved the design
  • colourful boats streaming down the murky Thames
  • the London Philharmonic boat – loved that they played ‘Greensleeves’ and many patriotic songs from Last Night of the Proms.
  • Tower Bridge going up
  • everyone’s positively enthusiastic attitude despite the downpour half-way (or was it towards the end?) through the pageant

My one regret is not being in London for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations! At the same time, staying indoors to watch the whole procession with closeups is preferable. If only I had other royal fans to celebrate with (albeit I did get to commentate with my friend in London and ‘meet’ another royal fan on Twitter).

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