Harper At The Queen's Diamond Jubilee: Prime Minister Leaves For London

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper and wife Laureen depart Ottawa on Sunday, June 3, 2012, on route to London, England, to take part in events for the Queens Diamond Jubilee. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick | CP

LONDON, England United Kingdom - Prime Minister Stephen Harper stepped off his aircraft and got a proper British welcome to London.

Thick fog and cold rain.

Harper arrived late Sunday afternoon at Lutin Airport on the outskirts of London, where he will participate in several days of festivities to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The sovereign's 60th year on the throne is being marked by all the pomp and pageantry for which the British seem to excel.

Earlier in the day, a procession of 1,000 vessels made its way down the river Thames, from Battersea to Tower Bridge, led by the Queen's own royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell.

On Monday, the grounds of Buckingham Palace will play host to a televised concert featuring Elton John, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, among other acts.

A network of more than 4,000 beacons is to be lit across the United Kingdom and the rest of the Commonwealth. Two beacons will be lit atop Canada House, Canada's diplomatic nerve centre in the British capital.

Harper will put some of that diplomacy to work on Tuesday when he visits 10 Downing Street to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Harper is also expected to have an audience with the Queen on Wednesday at Buckingham Palace.

Then it's off across the Channel for a brief stopover in Paris before Harper returns to Canada.

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