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By royal invitation: Carole takes her place in the historic Diamond Jubilee flotilla

June 3, 2012
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Gazing out at the throngs lining the banks of the River Thames, Carole Middleton must be reminded of the excitement of last year, when her daughter wed the future King.The former air stewardess and her husband Michael were invited to take part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant – a spectacular 1,000-strong flotilla of boats to celebrate the Queen's 60-year reign.

 They were joined aboard the Elizabethan, a replica 1890s Mississippi paddle steamer, by their children James and Pippa.The fact that the Middleton family were included in the Royal Squadron, which is reserved for guests of the Queen, is indicative of the sovereign’s approval of Kate and the closeness of her family.The Middletons joined several members of the royal family in the flotilla.Aboard the Havengore, built originally as a flagship for the Port of London Authority, were the Duke of York and his daughters.Princess Beatrice looked pretty in silver and navy dress by Suzannah while her younger sister Princess Eugenie opted for a coral Roland Mouret dress.

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The sisters, who were wearing pretty hats, waved excitedly when they spotted familiar faces on the riverbank and later waved Union Flags bearing the face of their grandmother.Aboard the same vessel were the Earl and Countess of Wessex; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Lady Frederick Windsor, the wife of their son Freddie.

London mayor Boris Johnson chatted to Sophie, who had a camera ready to capture the historic event on film.Princess Anne and her husband Vice admiral Timothy Laurence were aboard another ship, Trinity House No. 1, over which she presides as Master.

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