Crowds brave rain to enjoy Battersea Diamond Jubilee Festival


Smiles weren’t dampened as crowds lined the banks of the Thames to watch the 1,000-boat flotilla to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60-year reign.


By Gemma Ellis, Anna Tabrah & Helen Wright

Smiles weren’t dampened by the rain as crowds lined the banks of the Thames to watch the 1,000-boat flotilla at Battersea’s Diamond Jubilee Festival on Sunday.

In typically British fashion rain fell for most of the day, but crowds seemed unfazed, reaching for the umbrellas instead of the sun cream.

The festivities celebrated Her Majesty’s 60-year reign, making her only the second monarch to have reached this monumental milestone.

Devoted supporters queued for hours to get a prime position on the riverbank – even resorting to perching atop portaloos, to see the Queen float past.

Festival-goer Vicky Wilson, of Crystal Palace, said: “It was nice, everyone getting together.

“Even though it’s been raining, everyone seems to be smiling and having fun.”

Attractions included a pixellated portrait of the Queen’s face – made entirely out of cake!

Gerhard Jenne, mastermind behind the edible tribute and owner of Konditor and Cook, used 3,120 ‘pixel’ cakes – one for each year of Her Majesty’s reign.

Festival-goers were encouraged to help by decorating biscuits to stick around the portrait as a frame.

Mr Jenne said: “It’s been brilliant to do, and it really excites me to see people put the biscuits on – everyone feels involved.”

Continuing the sweet theme, architects who created some of London’s most famous landmarks – including the Gherkin – went head to head to build the tallest cake.

The Women’s Institute joined the festivities with their own tent, providing entertainment and creating awareness of important issues.

From vintage inspired make-overs to baked and knitted goods, the WI stalls proved popular.

Head of Press at WI, Charlotte Fiander, said: “It’s been hectic, we’ve had lots of interest because the Queen is a member and I think the WI is quite quintessentially British.”

Also to be found in the WI tent was designer Lydia Leigh showing off and selling her own unique jubilee inspired creation – jelly moulds in the shape of the Queen.

Lydia Leigh with her Queen-shaped jelly moulds

She said the response to her original invention had been great, with people sending her photos of their own wobbly attempts.

Other attractions included a vintage village, a zoo, and a fun fair providing the classic helter skelter and candyfloss.

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