First bells for Queen’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant have been cast in Whitechapel

The first of a series of bells that will be rung for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee have been cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

Three out of eight bells, forming part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3, were this week taken out of their moulds - ready to be cleaned and tuned - at the foundry on Whitechapel Road.

The biggest of the eight bells, weighing about half a tonne, called Elizabeth has been cast

and moulded, along with the second largest named Philip and the second smallest called William. The other bells which will be named Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, and Henry, after senior members of the Royal Family, will be cast over the coming weeks.

The bells will be hung from a scaffolding tower on the Belfry Barge leading the flotilla as it makes its way from Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge.

Eight bell ringers will ring a quarter peal with churches along the route and around the country providing an answering peal.

The foundry’s director: Kathryn Hughes, said: “It’s just another job for us. But the fact that it’s going to be used for something unique and unusual is great for us.”

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After the jubilee the bells will find a home at the church of St James Garlickhythe in the City.