On June 3rd 2012, Queen Elizabeth II led a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats along the River Thames to mark her Diamond Jubilee. This is only the second time in history that a monarch has celebrated a 60-year reign on the throne (The Queen’s great grandmother Queen Victoria celebrated the same achievement back in 1896.)
The River Pageant:
Onboard The Spirit of Chartwell, at the centrepiece of the flotilla, the Queen was accompanied by immediate members of the Royal Family, including the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Catherine talks to Camilla as the queen looks out onto the water with Prince Philip.
You can see William is in the background.
Meanwhile, The Duke of York, his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex were close behind, onboard the Paddle Steamer “Havengore”. The Middleton family travelled onboard the paddle steamer “Elizabethan”.
The Spirit of Chartwell:
A bit of information about The Spirit of Chartwell from the Press Association:
“The 64 metre-long cruiser has a top speed of 11 knots … rich red drapes decorating its sides and its bow [displays] the Queen’s cipher, EIIR, below a crown with golden floral displays around it. It has a luxury interior designed to evoke the grandeur of the 1929 Cote d’Azur Pullman railway carriages, complete with artefacts from the original train and great ocean liners.”
“Flowers from the Queen’s gardens … adorn the barge and take as their theme the Commonwealth, the Queen’s 1953 Coronation and the Gold State Coach. Gardeners’ World horticulturist Rachel de Thame created the floral displays which have a red, gold and purple colour scheme.”
We’re here to discuss Kate’s outfit after all – so let’s get down to business!
For this grand occasion, Kate chose a red dress by one of her favourte designers, Alexander McQueen. It looks like Kate took a design from McQueen’s 2011 collection and had it tailored specifically for her. Below we show you the McQueen dress on the catwalk model and X-Factor judge Tulisa in 2011:
As you can see, the original dress was sleeveless. Kate’s bespoke dress is longer than the original too.
Kate wore her trusty L.K. Bennett Sledge heels with the red ensemble – we’re thinking these must be long lasting and comfy, as she’s never seen out of them (that or she owns hundreds of pairs!)
Kate also wore her Kiki McDonough citrine drop earrings and a maritime-themed brooch, which features two dolphins positioned next to a crown. The brooch was possibly a gift from the Royal Navy Submarine Service, though the brooches are available to buy online.
Kate wore a matching red hat was by Sylvia Fletcher. Did you think Kate’s hat resembled the Maple leaf piece she wore on Canada Day last year? So did we, and it turns out Fletcher designed both pieces.
Eagle-eyed fans might have noticed that Kate carried a scarf or pashmina early on in the parade… I’m informed it’s made of Strathearn tartan – a nod to her Scottish title the Countess of Strathearn!
Finally, Kate carried a red clutch bag with a bow, very similar to the Alexander McQueen bag below, minus the skull detailing:
If you’d like to relive the pageant, there’s a handy video of the “best bits” below: