On Sunday 3rd June we were lucky enough to represent Girlguiding Cornwall at the River Thames Pageant to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The charity 'Plan UK' had been chosen as an official charitable organisation by the Royal Household during the Jubilee and to highlight their ‘Because I am a Girl’ Campaign Girlguiding UK had been asked to be their guests and join them to cheer on the Royal Barge from their position on the east side of Waterloo Bridge - giving us a front row view of the events!
We joined more than one million people who lined the banks and bridges of the Thames (at least 10 people deep!) to watch the 1000 boat pageant. We waited for several hours in good cheer, soaking in the atmosphere, waving our union flags and getting caught up in the sheer excitement until the ripple of cheers from the river bank signalled the flotilla had reached our vantage point!
The Queen's magnificent barge travelled among the flotilla of musical barges, rowed boats, dragon boats, kayaks, steamers, working boats and pleasure vessels of all ages, shapes and sizes. The impressive sight also included a Maori Canoe, a flotilla of small boats flying the flags of the 54 Commonwealth nations and historic boats and rescue craft involved in D-Day. We of course cheered extra loudly when we spotted several of the boats with St. Piran’s flags attached!
It truly was a spectacular sight and 2 hours later, (having shown true Guiding spirit in braving the worst that an English summer can throw at us and not letting the torrential rain spoil our fun!) we left Waterloo bridge feeling extremely honoured to have witnessed such a momentous occasion and proud both to be British and to have represented Girlguiding at such a unique occasion.
Charlotte Ball and Emma Boucher (Tregadillett Guides and Rainbows)