1. ITV Report

Royal turnout expected on Jubilee water extravaganza

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to join the Queen on her royal barge Photo: Jamie Wiseman/PA Wire

The final plans for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration was announced today, in which the spectacular water-borne extravaganza is expecting to attract millions of spectators.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be at the Queen's side on her royal barge alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.

Havengore, the vessel that carried Sir Winston Churchill's coffin during his state funeral in 1965, will be used during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee pageant by other members of the royal family.

The attraction featuring a flotilla of 1,000 ships, boats, yachts and other vessels will be one of the highlights of the extended Diamond Jubilee weekend in June.

Organisers hope to recreate scenes not seen on the river for more than 300 years, since the reign of Charles II.

The Queen's own royal barge, a luxury cruise liner called the Spirit of Chartwell, will have a lavish red velvet banner decorated with a version of the royal coat-of-arms made from more than half a million gold-coloured buttons, as well as a throne for the Queen and the Duke.

Diamond Jubilee celebrations to be held on the River Thames Credit: ITV News

Spectators along the route will be able to get a good view of the Queen on 50 giant screens that will be placed in areas close to the river bank.

She will pass under all 13 of central London's river crossings from Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge, and when the royal barge travels past this last landmark at around 4.15pm it will stop to allow her to watch the flotilla sail past, which will take about an hour.

The event will close when the final music barge, carrying members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir creates a Last Night of the Proms-style atmosphere, playing Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and finally the national anthem.

London Mayor Boris Johnson recorded a video message for the final Pageant press conference, held today at the Guildhall in the City.

Mr Johnson, who is in Greece today to collect the Olympic torch, said the summer would begin with this "incredible aquatic pageant".

Chief executive of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations Michael Lockett praised the emergency services, transport police and the media for highlighting and supporting the occasion.

Mr Lockett added that donations for the event came from 'private sources' and not public funds, with organisers estimating costs at £10.5 million.

Police officers have been preparing for the celebrations, practising their abseiling techniques at their River Thames base in Wapping.

The officers will be searching bridges on the river prior to the royal event, and Air Support Units have said they will be providing up-to-date information for police on the ground during the Royal Jubilee celebrations.

Metropolitan Police officers practise abseiling techniques at their River Thames base in Wapping Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Many of the bridges on the day will be closed to the public or only in use for crossing, not viewing the flotilla, and organisers advised spectators not to drive but use public transport.

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