1,000-strong flotilla led by The Queen takes to the river

HM The Queen will step aboard Britannia’s Royal Barge at Chelsea a little after 2pm this afternoon to be conveyed to the start of the biggest flotilla the River Thames has seen in hundreds of years.

At 2.30 the Royal Party will transfer to the Spirit of Chartwell – being used as the official Royal Barge – at Cadogan Pier, to begin the Pageant proper shortly before 3pm, when it will be heralded by the pealing of the specially-commissioned Jubilee Bells.

And over the next two-and-a-half hours hundreds of boats, from the smallest private vessels to mighty warships, sail, power and oar-propelled, will make their way under the bridges of the Thames, while many wait in stately fashion around Tower Bridge in the Avenue of Sail, where the spectacular vessels whose mast heights prevent them passing further upriver stage their own elegant contribution.

The Pageant will be watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators – and millions more by TV across the globe. The BBC is staging a four-and-a-half-hour long broadcast starting at 1.30pm or you can follow proceedings live online at www.bbc.co.uk.

If any PBO readers are in London for the event, either on the river or lining the banks, please share your thoughts and pictures, by Facebook or via Twitter @p_b_o, or send them in later by email to pbo@ipcmedia.com – we would love to hear from you.