On the invitation of Buckingham Palace and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Bermuda was represented at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in London. Bermuda joined a contingent of Heads of State and High Commissioners of the Commonwealth and Realms and Premiers, Chief Ministers and UK Representatives of the British Overseas Territories.
Representing Bermuda was Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, accompanied by UK Representative, Ms. Kimberley Durrant within the London Office.
The weekend celebrations commenced with the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, 3rd June. Despite the rainy weather, millions were present along the river banks to honour the Queen and to catch a glimpse of the Royal Barge and thousands of vessels which participated in the flotilla.
The Deputy Premier and Ms. Durrant were on board one of the FCO vessels, the Mercuria. The Mercuria travelled down the Thames River alongside the Sapelle, a boat decorated only with flags of the British Overseas Territories, to include Bermuda’s flag.
On Monday, 4th June they attended a reception at Buckingham Palace followed by the BBC Diamond Jubilee Concert. During the reception the Deputy Premier met and held conversations about Bermuda with HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister; Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition; The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary and many other dignitaries of the UK Government and members of the Royal Family.
On Tuesday 5th June the Deputy Premier attended the National Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family and UK Government Officials. The service was followed by a lunch at Guildhall, hosted by the Rt Hon William Hague, MP, Foreign Secretary.
The Deputy Premier said: ‘It was an honour to be present and share in the celebration of the 60 year reign of the Queen and her immense dedication to Britain and the Commonwealth. Throughout the entire weekend the Queen was gracious as always. We were grateful to the level of hospitality afforded to Bermuda. It was evident the Monarchy and the UK Coalition Government cherish its British Overseas Territories.’