Things are looking up: Tower Bridge is raised as vessels old and new pass through ahead of Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant on the Thames
By NICK ENOCH
Tower Bridge swung open today as ships old and new took to the Thames ahead of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant this weekend.
A small flotilla of vessels representing the Royal Navy's Royal Barge Honour Guard - including specialist armed police in speedboats - passed under the raised bridge as sailors from HMS Hurworth looked on.
HMS Hurworth acted the part of the Royal Barge but it will all look quite different on Sunday.
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Tower Bridge was raised today as boats of the Royal Navy's Royal Barge Honour Guard passed through on the Thames
The Honour Guard were preparing for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant on Sunday
Also on the water was The Phoenicia - a replica of a 600BC trading vessel - which sailed through on its return from Sardinia
A Royal Navy sailor watches from HMS Hurworth as the Phoenicia passes Tower Bridge
Also on the water was the Phoenicia - a replica of a 600BC trading vessel - which sailed through on its return from Sardinia.
Skippered by British adventurer Philip Beale, it was built in 2008 in the style of an ancient trading ship believed to have achieved the first circumnavigation of Africa.
Mr Beale's ship - which has also just completed a voyage tracing the Phoenician-Cornish tin trade route - is due to become a floating museum at nearby St Katharine's Dock.
On the day, ten naval vessels will surround the Queen's Barge, while almost a thousand other boats will take part in the procession.
Security for the pageant will be extremely tight, with Scotland Yard saying it is the biggest ever security operation for the Queen.
Police frogmen will carry out underwater searches while bridges and river banks will be monitored and all the boats taking part will be searched, the Evening Standard reported.
The Met is deploying 23 boats, with two from neighbouring Essex, ranging from high visibility vessels to more discreet unmarked craft, some of which will be carrying the specialist firearms officers.
Dai Davies, a former head of Scotland Yard’s royal protection squad, said: 'This is undoubtedly the biggest security operation of its kind ever mounted and is an unprecedented challenge.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152216/Tower-Bridge-raised-vessels-old-new-pass-ahead-Queens-Diamond-Jubilee-river-pageant-Thames.html#ixzz1wR30ozqp