Celebrations in the United Kingdom began in May 2012 with the Diamond Jubilee pageant at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, featuring the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) musical ride, The Tenors and Inuit performers Artcirq. On May 23-24, the RCMP participated in The Mounting of The Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guards, the first foreign non-military force to be given this honour.
On June 3, 2012, Canada House, home to Canada’s High Commission in the UK, will be welcoming 400 Canadians for a Big Jubilee Lunch and opening a special exhibition of photographs of The Queen’s visits to Canada over the past 60 years. Her Majesty has visited Canada 22 times since her Coronation, more than any other country.
Also on June 3, the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will see a flotilla of approximately 1,000 boats sail down the River Thames in a tribute to Her Majesty. Canadians will be well represented, with members of the Royal Canadian Navy escorting the royal barge, the MV Spirit of Chartwell. The Canadian flag will fly alongside the British, Australian and New Zealand flags as representatives of the four navies accompanying the barge.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation will be joining with the Canadian Canoe Museum in celebrating the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant by sending Canada One, a replica of a voyageur canoe, to participate in the flotilla, honouring the voyageur men and women who were instrumental in opening up our great country.
Crews of breast cancer survivors, Abreast From the West and Internationally Abreast, will also be paddling dragon boats for the event. They will be dressed in red and white and will salute with their oars as their boats sail past The Queen.
A group of Canadian Heralds, the officials who grant the use of coats of arms, have also been invited to participate in the Pageant by joining English and Scottish Heralds preceding the royal barge with their banners.
Canadian participants in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be honoured at a reception at Canada House, as two beacons are lit to join hundreds of others around the world before Her Majesty The Queen lights one of her own at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2012.
On June 6, The Queen will unveil a new portrait of Her Majesty, commissioned by the Government of Canada to commemorate the historic occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This Diamond Jubilee portrait will be displayed at Canada House in London from June 8-14, 2012, where it will then be returned to Canada to be installed at Rideau Hall.