Right royal celebrations are in full swing to honour the Queen's 60-year reign of the Commonwealth.

Today in London, a New Zealand waka, whaling boat and clinker will be rowed up the Thames, members of a 1000-boat regatta to honour Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.

The 14-strong crew of Te Hono ki Aotearoa, the celebratory waka that is based in the Dutch city of Leiden, will take four hours to follow the Royal barge up the river.

The captain, Chapman Harrison of Kaitaia, said it would be a special moment: "Everything - the haka, hoe, whanaungatanga and oneness with the waka."


Here in New Zealand, the monarchist movement is hailing the enthusiasm as a sign our head of state is here to stay.

Monarchy NZ chairman Sean Palmer said: "Walking down the street, there are flags and decorations in all the shop windows and lots of shops are having Queen's Birthday sales. It's remarkable. It just goes to show that the Queen is an image that resonates with the public."

In Nelson, a beacon will be lit at Rotary Lookout on Wither Hills at 6am tomorrow - one of 4000 official beacons being lit around the world.

In Auckland, Christina Windram will don a tiara and pearls to host special high tea at her Birkenhead Point guest house, Stafford Villa.

"I'm having Union Jack macaroons delivered and I'll be making cupcakes with the flags," she said. "We've got a picture of a royal family member on each table, so it's like you are dining with the Royals, albeit through a photograph."

The Langham Hotel is serving English treats including Battenberg cake, Victoria sponge and coronation chicken sandwiches.

The Cloud on Auckland's waterfront is hosting Devonshire tea alongside games such as lawn bowls and badminton.

- additional reporting Northern Advocate