Millennium Post

Millions join Queen's party

Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday provided a temporary lift to Britain's economic gloom by leading a 1,000- strong flotilla on River Thames as hundreds of thousands gathered along the historic river and on streets across the country to celebrate 60 years of her reign.

The Diamond Jubilee pageant along the river that has played a pivotal role in Britain's history generated a wave of patriotism among large sections of the population, while some republicans protested against the monarchy, calling for an elected head of state.

Others preferred to holiday elsewhere during the extra days off work during the extended Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Britain's famously fickle weather was evident as rains and dank grey weather gripped London and other parts of the country, but that did not deter royal enthusiasts camping overnight along the Thames to occupy vantage points for today's pageant to celebrate 86-year-old Queen's rule.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall made a surprise appearance at a street party in Piccadilly, where nearly 1000 people had gathered to celebrate the occasion and sang the national anthem.

Many members of the royal family joined the pageantry celebrations, including Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, as they were cheered by thousands of flag-waving people along the river.

There were reports of many passengers being stranded at train stations en route to London due to overcrowded trains heaving with royal enthusiasts heading for the pageant. The pageant is one of several events planned for the extended weekend until 5 June. London and the Thames have not seen such a collection of vessels for 350 years. It was in 1662 that a similar event was held in honour of King Charles II and Queen Catherine of Braganza.


In what should be a wake-up call for British parliamentarians, 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth II has worked far more days this year than any member of parliament, the Daily Express reported.

Sunday's Diamond Jubilee pageant on the Thames river was her 80th day of official engagements in 2012. The MPs, in contrast, have been in Westminster for only 72 days.

The British daily reported that in the middle of a two-week half-term break, MPs have had 38 weekdays off so far this year - almost double the holiday allowance for most people in the country.

By the end of this year, according to the parliamentary calendar, MPs will have been at Westminster for 151 days and have had 110 weekdays and bank holidays off. Once weekends were taken into account, they would have been away from Westminster for 215 days, 59 percent of the year.
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