Thousands Party With The Queen in Henley

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh watched a river pageant today as they joined thousands of guests from Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire at a Diamond Jubilee garden party in Henley.

The royal couple were applauded by guests and by several hundred people who gathered on the opposite banks to watch as they arrived by passenger steamer at the party in the grounds of Henley Business School in Oxfordshire.

More than 30 vessels including a Viking Boat crewed by University of Reading rowers featured in the flotilla celebrating the history of the River Thames.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled the short distance to the garden party from Hambleden Lock on board the Alaska, built in 1883 and the oldest working passenger steamer on the Thames.

It's hoped her Majesty will get to meet as many people from the three counties as possible.

The Queen, who wore a cream dress with a vine motif, a turquoise coat and matching hat, also met representatives from the community foundations for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, and Oxfordshire. The foundations raise money to fund community and voluntary groups.

The Queen paused at the "communatree'', where veteran broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, who is a deputy lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, hung a message from one of its branches.

Sir Terry said the work of the foundations was "very important''. "There is a lot of poverty in all three counties and in my own Buckinghamshire in particular. What we are trying to do is to get people to come together and help locally.''

The Queen unveiled a plaque specially made to commemorate her visit to the garden party, held at the Henley Business School Greenlands campus and hosted by the lord lieutenants of the three counties.

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