News / Europe

Britain's Queen Joins Giant Flotilla for Jubilee Celebration

Britain Celebrates Queen’s 60th Yeari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Al Pessin
June 03, 2012 9:21 PM
This weekend marks the culmination of year-long celebrations in Britain marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Britain Celebrates Queen’s 60th Year
Al Pessin

LONDON - This weekend marks the culmination of year-long celebrations in Britain marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

 

A specially outfitted ship carried the 86-year-old queen and her family along the River Thames at the head of a 1,000-boat parade. Rain and cold kept many people away, but tens of thousands came out anyway to cheer, underlining the queen's popularity. 

 

“The monarchy has gone through a lot of ups and downs in its time, in her time on the throne, high peaks and then very low troughs. She has fulfilled her oath to her people," said one man in London. 

 

Historian Miles Taylor of the University of London says the monarchy continues to be relevant.  “I think there is still a place for monarchy.  It is the most visible and familiar symbol of our national identity. Yes, there’s the glamor, there’s the glitz, there’s the tradition, but the monarchy by the early 20th century was playing a hugely important role in the voluntary sector, in making all charities, philanthropy, all the kind of civic-mindedness work in the country," he said. 


  • Britain's Prince Charles, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London, June 5, 2012.
  • Revelers on the Mall in London watch Queen Elizabeth II appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
  • The British Royal Air Force Red Arrows fly in formation over Buckingham Palace.
  • Britain's Prince Willam, his wife Kate, and Prince Harry stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • Guardsmen march onto the Mall in London to take up their positions ahead of the formal carriage procession.
  • The Queen departs St Paul's Cathedral with the Dean of St Paul's David Ison, left, following a service of thanksgiving on the last day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • A boy blows a horn as crowds gathered along The Mall in St James Park, London June 5, 2012.
  • The Queen departs St Paul's Cathedral with the Dean of St Paul's David Ison, left, following a service of thanksgiving on the last day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry, right, attend the Diamond Jubilee concert, June 4, 2012.
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, center, and Prince Philip, right, arrive at Chelsea Pier in London, before boarding the royal barge to participate in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, June 3, 2012.
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip leave from Chelsea Harbour in London on a launch on the first part of their journey in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, June 3, 2012.
  • Britain's Royal Family from left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Philip Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry on the royal barge.
  • Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, right, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, center, and Queen Elizabeth, look at the proceedings on the royal barge, the principal boat of a flotilla of 1,000 vessels.
  • The Gloriana is seen leading the flotilla during the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in London, June 3, 2012.
  • Children of British expatriates enjoy an elephant ride as others arrive for an event to commemorate the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebration at the British High Commission, in New Delhi, India, June 3, 2012.


The queen also maintains a political role, speaking for the government and advising prime ministers.  

 

She meets with foreign leaders from all corners of the world.

 

And she is the leader of the the Commonwealth, the nations once part of the British Empire.

 

During Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign, Britain has endured a variety of troubles, including terrorist attacks. When Princess Diana died in 1997, the queen had some of her toughest days, enduring criticism for not sharing the depth of the nation’s grief.

 

But the queen emerged with a status unparalleled in Britain and many other countries.  

 

And in recent years, she has allowed the spotlight to focus on the most popular members of her family.

 

An 80-year-old British army veteran, who gave his name only as Tom, is among relatively few people here who can remember a time when Elizabeth was not their queen. “I was at Windsor when King George VI died.  I attended his funeral down there, and then I had to go around the town, march around the town, with the proclamation of the queen, Princess Elizabeth then, becoming our queen.  And that sticks in my heart now.  I think she’s held this country together," he said. 

 

So Britons pause for four days to celebrate their queen and their heritage.  They put aside concerns about the economic downturn and foreign wars and crises, at least for a while.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Larrymoe1960@yahoo.com from: deep south
June 03, 2012 2:34 PM
Do you really need a queen? All this pomp for a woman? Give me a break!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid