Live rehearsal during Diamond Jubilee pageant

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee logo
With over a million people visiting Southbank, this was a perfect scenario to practice for Games time.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London over the Bank Holiday weekend in June provided a perfect opportunity for London Ambassadors to test their training and equipment for Games time.

Over the past seven months, London Ambassadors have been busy training and preparing for their role at Games time. The Thames pageant provided the perfect opportunity to rehearse our roles in a “live” event.

The pageant was the biggest such event on the river Thames in modern times. It followed a seven-mile route with more than 1,000 vessels taking part. It was one of the largest ever public gathering on the Thames with over a million people on pageant day. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were onboard the lavishly decorated royal barge along with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

We took the opportunity to test the four different types of pods across the following locations:

South Bank - experience pod. This was situated underneath the Golden Jubilee Bridges and near the Royal Festival Hall. I was the location manager for the afternoon shift on all four days.

Green Park - kiosk pod. This was near Green Park underground tube (exit park side) and adjacent to the Ritz Hotel.

Marylebone Station - concertina pod. Situated inside the station opposite M&S Simply Food shop.

Richmond Park - mobile pod. This was parked near Roehampton Gate.

We made this rehearsal as real as possible by keeping all aspects of our activities the same as we had planned for Games time. This meant:

  • The area office set-up with area managers with a management cell structure
  • Location managers carried out their opening and closing procedures
  • Health and safety inspections both before and close of shifts
  • Ambassadors were briefed before their shift and de-briefed at the end
  • We tested our IT and mobile communication equipment
  • The communication flow between the pod and area office was tested with scenarios
  • The pods were tested for layout and equipment

A lot was learnt from each location. This feedback was priceless as we now had the time to make the necessary changes before we go live at Games time.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, 5th June 2012.