Kate Middleton and Prince William have landed a prestigious invitation to join the Queen on the royal barge during the River Thames pageant this summer.
The event, which is being held as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, will see 1,000 ships, boats, yachts and other vessels on the River Thames, in an event which organisers hope will recreate scenes not witnessed for more than 300 years.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join other royals including the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, aka the Prince of Wales, who is the pageant’s patron, his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Harry.
But all eyes will no doubt be on popular royals Kate and Wills, who manage to steal the limelight at every event they attend.
The couple, who married in a lavish ceremony last April, will be at Queen Elizabeth’s side throughout the event, which one million spectators are expected to attend.
The royal barge will be a sight to behold, boasting a lavish red velvet banner decorated with a version of the royal coat-of-arms made from more than half a million gold-coloured buttons. An ornate gilded sculpture featuring Old Father Thames, a pair of scaly sharp-toothed classical dolphins which is a symbol of the Thames, will sit at the front of the barge, and the royal cipher will be at the centre.
Other royals will travel on neighbouring vessels in the royal squadron towards the front of the flotilla. The Duke of York and his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, will all travel on Havengore, the vessel which carried Sir Winston Churchill's coffin during his state funeral in 1965.
The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence will travel on the Trinity House No 1 Boat, and Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be aboard the RNLI Diamond Jubilee.
The River Thames pageant takes place on June 3 and will be just one of many events held to celebrate the Queen’s 60th year on the throne.
Other celebrations include the Diamond Jubilee Concert on June 4, with stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Kylie Minogue lined-up to perform for the Royal Family, as well as various local, national and international events.
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