River Pageant: 'Crowd's Enthusiasm Infectious'

Andrew Wilson, on the Sky News boat
River Pageant: 'Crowd's Enthusiasm Infectious'

The Sky News boat was among the 1,000 vessels that took part in the river pageant to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

It is fair to say the day started calmly but with an air of expectation tinged with excitement at the prospect of what was always going to be a monumental undertaking.

As we all tied up in our assembly positions, the principle atmosphere was provided by the horns from the tugboats and the fainter pop of champagne corks from within the gathered vessels.

When the move order came, the procession was relaxed but jovial after a considerable wait.

However, as we approached the busier landmarks of Battersea Park and power station the mass enthusiasm from the Thames banks became infectious.

From the little ships of Dunkirk to the narrowboats behind, there was a tangible response to being the centre of attention.

By the time we approached London Bridge and the Tower beyond, the weather was closing in and the noise from the crowds on the tall ships created an excited frenzy amongst the crews of these tiny boats struggling through the final mile.

And then Her Majesty and her family came into view taking the waves from
HMS President and one by one the little ships remembered why they were here in the first place.

They had come to pay their respects to a 60-year reign that they had no hand in choosing but would not have changed for the world.

It was, after all, a day to remember.