Flotilla will take to Suffolk waters for Queen's platinum jubilee

The parade will be launched at the Ha'penny Pier in Harwich

The parade will be launched at the Ha'penny Pier in Harwich - Credit: Archant

A unique parade of more than 70 boats will take to the water between Suffolk and Essex this weekend to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee. 

The vessels, representing every year of the Monarch’s reign, will be participating in the Festival of the Sea tomorrow, which is part of the celebrations for the jubilee and the Festival of Suffolk. 

The flotilla will feature boats of all kinds and a variety of vessels from the Royal Navy, Trinity House in Harwich, Harwich Haven Authority, Essex Marine Police and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which have come from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

The flotilla will take to the water as part of the Festival of Suffolk and Queen's platinum jubilee

The flotilla will take to the water as part of the Festival of Suffolk and Queen's platinum jubilee - Credit: Festival of Suffolk

They will assemble between Shotley and Harwich, weather permitting, flying flags and bunting.  

A cannon will be fired to launch the parade at the Ha’Penny Pier at Harwich and the boats will salute, cheer and wave as they criss-cross the Rivers Orwell and Stour. 

People will be able to watch the parade of boats from the shore. The best places for the public to view this unique spectacle (times approximate) is Harwich Ha’pennry Pier at 2pm and Felixstowe Landguard Fort at 2.30pm. The fleet should be visible from Shotley waterfront all afternoon. 

As part of the celebrations, Landguard Fort and Felixstowe Museum is planning a weekend of pirate activities featuring a weekend of re-enactments, musket firing and pirate fun from 10am to 5pm. 

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Roy Clare, one of the event coordinators, said: “The Parade of Boats is a tribute to Her Majesty, the Queen. 

“There’s a long tradition of assembling fleets to mark special occasions.  

“To celebrate the sea you don’t need a boat – just take the family down to the water near you and wave at some! Buy an ice-cream, take a stroll along the fabulous coastline – Suffolk and Essex combined is more than 400 miles long – and just think of the countless ways we depend on the sea and the marine environment – a true ‘Festival'."

Mark Pendlington, chair of the Festival of Suffolk

Mark Pendlington, chair of the Festival of Suffolk - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Festival of Suffolk chair Mark Pendlington said: “All aboard as the Festival of Suffolk takes to the water. 

“Thanks to local boat owners in Essex and Suffolk, along with marinas, sailing clubs, the Royal Navy, the RNLI and many others, over 70 boats will set sail to celebrate the platinum jubilee.”