Royal visit to Henley-on-Thames

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh watch a river pageant Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh watched a river pageant as they joined thousands of guests at a Diamond Jubilee garden party.

The royal couple were applauded by guests and by several hundred people who gathered today on the opposite banks to watch as they arrived by passenger steamer at the party in the grounds of Henley Business School near the picturesque town of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

More than 30 vessels including a Viking Boat crewed by University of Reading rowers featured in the flotilla celebrating the history of the River Thames.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled the short distance to the garden party from Hambleden Lock on board the Alaska, built in 1883 and the oldest working passenger steamer on the Thames.

The Queen and Philip toured the garden party meeting some of the 4,000 guests drawn from the counties of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, of whom 1,200 were chosen from an oversubscribed public ballot.

The Queen aboard the Alaska passenger steamer on the Thames Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Queen, who wore a cream dress with a vine motif, a turquoise coat and matching hat, also met representatives from the community foundations for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, and Oxfordshire. The foundations raise money to fund community and voluntary groups.

The Queen paused at the "communatree", where veteran broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, who is a deputy lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, hung a message from one of its branches.

Sir Terry said the work of the foundations was "very important".

The Queen is greeted at the Henley Business school in Oxfordshire Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Queen unveiled a plaque specially made to commemorate her visit to the garden party, held at the Henley Business School Greenlands campus and hosted by the lord lieutenants of the three counties.

The Queen was presented with a bunch of white roses by eight-year-old Alex Locke, from Marlow, Bucks, who underwent gene therapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London after being born without an immune system.

His parents, Colin and Carol Locke, said their son had at one stage been kept in an airlocked room because of his condition. They said it had been "absolutely fantastic" for him to meet the Queen.

The Queen and Philip toured the garden party meeting some of the 4,000 guests Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire