The Thames Jubilee Pageant will see 1,000 boats, carrying 20,000 people, process down the Thames in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The monarch will be on the Royal Barge – named the Spirit of Chartwell – and the pageant will be full of sights as well as sounds, thanks to a floating belfry and 10 musical barges.
Don’t miss the opportunity to view this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, use our guide to find the best places to stand.
If you’re prepared to get there well before the pageant’s 2.25pm start, some of the bridges will offer unbeatable views. Some of them are closed off for private events, but the ends of Lambeth, Westminster and Blackfriars will be open. These areas are expected to be very crowded and spectators will be subject to bag searches. The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website recommends viewing the pageant from the river bank.
More London: south side of the river by Tower Bridge. This large open area will afford good views of the pageant and the Avenue of Sail.
Embankment: north side of the river by Temple tube station. The Queen’s barge will stop by HMS President at 4.15pm to watch the rest of the pageant go by – stand on the wide pavement here to get a good view. There are also three large TV screens in this area.
Victoria Tower Gardens: north side of the river by the Houses of Parliament. This leafy area has a great view of the river, contains a viewing screen and provides ample space for a picnic.
Chelsea Embankment: nearest tube Sloane Square. The area next to the Royal Hospital should afford a great view and will feature viewing screens across its length. If that gets too busy, however, we reckon that the area on the south side of the river between Battersea and Albert bridges might be quieter as it’s harder to access.
Things to note:
- Battersea Park’s Jubilee Festival is now sold out
- Most of the riverside dining venues, like the OXO Tower restaurant, are either sold out or serving set menus.
- The pageant disperses at Greenwich – if you can’t find space elsewhere then head east of Tower Bridge to watch the ships dock along the river.
- The Avenue of Sail – a display of more than 60 boats too large to join the pageant – will be open for viewing from 30 May.