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Commonwealth on display at Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

3 June 2012
Flotilla of boats pays tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth

A grand fleet of boats including many from the Commonwealth celebrated HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee as Head of the Commonwealth in a Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012.

More than a million people lined the River Thames across London, UK, to witness the grand display as up to 1,000 boats escorted the Queen, joined by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, on the Royal Barge Chartwell.

Boats displayed Commonwealth flags and on one of the musical barges the Jubilant Commonwealth Choir, standing on top of the Commonwealth flag, sang 13 traditional folk songs drawn from across the Commonwealth.

Twitter users remarked on the Commonwealth boats and seeing their country's flag as part of the pageant:

Fifi Haroon: “Oh how wonderful! Just saw the #Pakistan flag and boat in the Queen's Diamond #Jubilee Flotilla! - part of the #Commonwealth boats.”

Text box: For 60 years the Queen has laid much importance on her role as Head of the Commonwealth, which includes, by developing tradition, a number of symbolic functions.

Her Majesty keeps in touch with Commonwealth developments through regular contact with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

She also visits Commonwealth countries - including the host country of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is held every two years - meeting the people as well as Commonwealth leaders.

Amore: “Just seen the Barbados boat sail by in the #pageant @BarbadosNews #commonwealth P xx”

Nubhan rosli: “Omg just saw singapores flag #commonwealth #diamondjubilee”

Ladi: ”Good to see Nigeria represented as part of the #Commonwealth with its own Special Cadet boat @ the #DiamondJubilee river pageant. Luv it!”

Carol Jean Fourie: "@OCCUMEDcc: Glad to see #SA flag flying among the #commonwealth vessels celebrating the #diamondjubilee" Also watching :)”

Zekra: “All the #commonwealth boats on the #thames! Incredible http://pic.twitter.com/g9k6RnSj

Johnny H: “Hands across the water to all of our Commonwealth cousins. Have a great Jubilee.#diamondjubilee #commonwealth”

Liam M: “Awesome to see ppl all over the #Commonwealth celebrating the #Jubilee, even in Pakistan, Kenya & other Republics. 2bn of us - We are one!”

As the pageant made it’s way down the Thames a floating belfry’s chiming bells were answered by riverbank churches.

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations continue on 4 June 2012 when a network of over 4,000 beacons will be lit by communities throughout the UK, UK Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth in the Diamond Jubilee Beacons.

Keep up to date with Commonwealth-related Diamond Jubilee events through our website, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

We also welcome your stories. Send us photos, videos and comments on Diamond Jubilee celebrations in your region of the Commonwealth to [email protected] or message us on Facebook and we’ll feature a selection.