Jubilation Across The Pond:The Queen smiles through the wet weather at record-breaking Diamond Jubilee pageant

The 1,000 vessel flotilla set a new world record for the largest parade of boats as rain could not spoil the day

Spectacle: 1,000 strong flotilla has set a new world record
The Queen smiled her way through the spectacular Diamond Jubilee river pageant despite rain putting a dampener on the occasion.

The bad weather saw the Royal Navy diamond flypast of helicopters planned for the finale cancelled due to poor visibility.

But the Queen still seemed to enjoy her day on the river with her family.

Accompanied by Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, she travelled on the Britannia launch to the Spirit of Chartwell – the grand royal barge decorated in regal red for the occasion.

The Queen’s white and silver outfit had been specially chosen by the Buckingham Palace team to reflect the diamond celebration theme and to allow the monarch to be clearly seen by well-wishers as the barge sailed by.

The Queen and Prince Phillip at the start of the Diamond Jubilee river pageant
On the river: Prince Phillip joins the Queen
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Prince Harry
Kate Middleton-Prince William-Prince HarrySpectacle: As for last year’s royal wedding, the crowds turned out in huge numbers

Members of the Royal family (from left to right) Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry onboard the Spirit of Chartwell during the Diamond Jubilee Pageant
A family affair: The seven key royals assemble on board the Spirit of Chartwell

Prince Harry, his brother William and wife Kate, wearing a long-sleeved crimson dress by McQueen, were waiting on board to greet the 86-year-old.

The flotilla was led by the Royal Jubilee bells, with churches on the banks of the Thames ringing their own bells as the boats passed.

Next came the rowing boats, led by the spectacular Gloriana, the million-pound row barge Gloriana led by Olympic gold medallists Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Steve Redgrave, rowing with 16 others.

They were followed by boats carrying the flags of the Commonwealth before the heart of the fleet with the Spirit of Chartwell, Havengore and the Elizabethan.

Havengore carried London Mayor Boris Johnson, Prince Edward and wife Sophie and Prince Andrew with his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.

Kate’s family joined the passengers on the Elizabethan, with Pippa choosing a navy and cream outfit.

The royal barge 'Spirit of Chartwell' carrying Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family sails during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames
The Spirit of Chartwell: The royal barge dominated

Pippa Middleton with her family
Wave two: Pippa Middleton with brother James

A 41 gun salute was fired from the Tower of London to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne while thousands of people cheered on the banks of the River Thames despite the wet weather.

The banks of the river brought a variety of complementary displays, with the Queen’s face lighting up as the model of Joey the War Horse from the stage hit greeted her from the roof of Festival Hall.

Tower Bridge was raised for the arrival of the royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, which moored alongside HMS President to watch the rest of the seven mile-long flotilla making its way down the Thames.

The Spirit of Chartwell had been fitted with red velvet thrones for the royal to sit on but the Queen and her family chose to stand throughout as they waved to the crowds and enjoyed the spectacle.

The second half of the pageant passed in heavy rain, and Kate and the Queen both made use of scarves they had brought along as a precaution in the bad weather, but they were protected from the downpour by the ornate covering of the barge.

Despite the weather, spectators had turned out in large numbers, with a million people estimated to have lined the river banks to see the flotilla.

Queen Elizabeth II passes St Paul's Cathedral on the Spirit of Chartwell
Flag-wavers: The banks of the river were lined with people

The pageant achieved a new world record for the largest parade of boats – surpassing the previous record of 327 boats in Bremerhaven, Germany, last year, Guinness World Records said.

The record was announced as 419 boats reached the bridge, with up to 1,000 vessels expected to complete the pageant.

Boat crews waved as they passed the royal spectators, many of the boats listing to one side as the passengers flooded to the south side to see the Queen.

Many of those on board the barges, narrow boats, Dunkirk little ships, cruisers and pleasure boats sheltered under umbrellas as the rain came down.

The singers with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in the final boat of the flotilla, had no such luxury and arrived at the Tower Bridge finale looking somewhat bedraggled.

Yet the bad weather did not stop them producing rousing versions of Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem and the National Anthem as the pageant reached its musical climax.

And the orchestra’s performance of the Sailor’s Hornpipe – known to many as the Blue Peter theme tune – found particular favour with the royals, Camilla and the Duchess of Cambridge jigging along to the music behind the Queen and taking a welcome opportunity to warm up.

The planned Diamond Nine helicopter flypast fell victim to the weather but the daylight fireworks on the gantry of Tower Bridge went off in a brief but spectacular explosion of light which was greeted by the hooters, bells and whistles of the boats.

Summing up the event Boris Johnson said: “It has been a magnificent day, the scale of which we haven’t seen in our lifetime, with over a million people lining the river to show their admiration for Her Majesty.

“The spectacle of the royal barge and the 1,000 strong flotilla was an awesome sight and neither the wind nor the rain could dampen people’s spirits.”

In some ways the weather was in keeping with the Queen’s celebrations, as her coronation day, 59 years ago yesterday, was also hit by rain.

By: Ann Gripper/UK Mirror