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Diamond Jubilee: Windermere vessel prepares for Thames' pageant
10:22am Sunday 3rd June 2012 in Eden news
AN iconic Lake District vessel will fly the flag for Cumbria when it takes part in the seven-mile long Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant today.
Queen of the Lake – operated by Windermere Lake Cruises – is part of a stellar line-up of hundreds of spectacular boats which will form a river tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.
Around 1.5 million people are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the historic flotilla, which sets sail at 2.40pm.
And millions more will tune in to the pageant on television to enjoy an event on a scale not seen for centuries.
Nigel Wilkinson, managing director of Windermere Lakes Cruises, said: “We’re very proud that she is going to represent Cumbria.”
A large crowd watched the vessel hoisted from Bowness Bay on Monday night.
Mr Wilkinson added: “A lot of people turned out to watch her being craned – it was a wonderful event and a really nice spectacle.
“She was wrapped up in a vinyl wrap for protection and we put: ‘We’re taking the Queen to London’ on the side.”
The boat was built in 1949, measures 15.2 metres and can carry up to 84 passengers.
She carried the Prince of Wales in March 2010 when he visited Cumbria.
Also joining in the river procession, and sailing on the ‘Queen of the Lake’, will be Arran Chambers, who is to be accompanied by his mum Eileen.
The 14-year-old, of The Row, near Kendal, who was selected because of his role as a young ranger, said: “I am really looking forward to going; it should be a great day.”
The ‘Paddlers for Life’ Dragon Boat Team will also feature.
The group, made up mainly of breast cancer survivors, will paddle down the Thames in their pink boat, the Artemis Diana.
Member June Brown said: “We are really thrilled to be chosen to be a part of such a historic occasion.”