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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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