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There is a major press event this evening (Monday 11/28) – a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace for journalists expected to cover the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.

According to the UK Press Association release, “In honour of the guests the palace’s East Gallery will be renamed the Tweet Suite for the night – for those who want to post online messages – and the space will also contain displays about the Queen’s Golden and Silver Jubilees.”  A Tweet Suite. You’ve got to love it! It’s a new age.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to attend and mingle with the press.

June 2012 is the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in honor of her 60 year reign. There are many special events planned, but the one that I feel has the potential to be the most memorable will be the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant at high water on the afternoon of June 3rd.

Photo by Azeri

As the London mayor’s press release reveals, the Queen will lead a massive flotilla of up to one thousand boats beautifully dressed in streamers and union jacks. The boats will be assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world.  The event organizers are planning for well over one million people lining the banks of the Thames to join in the celebration and witness the grand parade of boats.

Canaletto, "Westminster Bridge from the north on Lord Mayor's Day" oil painting, 1746

The flotilla is expected to measure 7.5 miles from end to end and will be one of the major focal points of the celebration during the special Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. The plan is that there will be a diverse mix of historic and modern; from rowed boats to sailing ships, steamers to wooden launches and larger motorized craft.The flotilla specially aims to “capture the diversity of Britain and the Commonwealth’s proud maritime history”.

The Diamond Jubilee River Pageant will have music, and fireworks and special effects. The flotilla will be made up of 5 special sections, each separated by a “herald barge” the first of which will be a floating belfry of eight new bells.  Their peals will be answered and echoed by chimes from riverbank churches along the route. There are even plans for special daytime fireworks and a mechanical flame spitting dragon. Yikes! What fun!

It promises to be a spectacular event, and even though the deadline for boat entries passed on October 31st, it makes me want to find a boat and join in the excitement. Maybe we’ll have to settle for a spot on the shore.

If you want information on this extraordinary, historical event, go to the Thames Diamond Jubilee pageant site for full details.