News / Europe

Britain's Queen Joins Giant Flotilla for Jubilee Celebration

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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid