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1994 to 1998 Video
Transcript Of Narration
On the 5th June 1994 the media and the eyes of the world descended on Portsmouth to watch the D-Day 50 commemorations. The list of VIPs was impressive and consisted of the British Royal Family and twelve other heads of state, New Zealand Prime Minister, Canadian Prime Minister, British Prime Minister, President of Poland, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, President of Slovakia, Australian Prime Minister, Greek Defence Minister, Prince Bernard of The Netherlands, King Albert of Belgium, President Bill Clinton, The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, President of France and King Harald of Norway.
The service was started by a drum head service, from this the Queen boarded her Royal Yacht, HMY Britannia, and reviewed the fleet at Spithead. There was then an aerial fly past of planes of all ages, the Queen then made her way to France. This was not the end of the commemorations for Portsmouth there was a march past by the veterans and a display on Southsea Common.
Portsmouth also hosted the Le Tour De France cycle race on the 7th July 1994 and hosted the start and finish which has not been hosted by any other one city apart from Paris. The race started with a warm up along the seafront before heading up to the Eastern Road where the race began and it then made its way out of the city. While away the city hosed a variety of entertainment ranging from the Red Arrows to a antique bike display. The race then returned, preceded by the cavalcade of vehicles, back to the seafront
In 1995 Portsmouth Dockyard celebrated the 500th anniversary of the worlds first dry dock being built in Portsmouth Royal Naval Dockyard. The celebrations included areas of the dockyard not usually open to the public being opened, vintage bus rides round the site and guided tours of the dockyard. There was also an opportunity to see mast manning and window ladder displays performed by the Royal Navy.
In 1997 Portsmouth saw the decommissioning of HMY Britannia the last in a long line of Royal Yachts. She had been based in Portsmouth for the whole of her life but was not to stay here. She made one last farewell trip around Britain before her decommissioning and on her return to Portsmouth she was surrounded by small craft to welcome her back. The shore lines were packed with people to welcome her back to Portsmouth where many hoped she would stay. The Queen attended the decommissioning of HMY Britannia on Railway Jetty in Portsmouth Dockyard.
In 1998 the decision was finally made on the design to use for Portsmouth's Millennium tower. The people of Portsmouth were asked to vote, which could be done on the News` web site, on their favourite design and the design of a spinnaker was chosen. In August 1998 Portsmouth hosted the second International Festival of the Sea. There was a multitude of ships including Royal Naval Ships and private craft. There were thousands of musicians and entertainers to keep the show alive. There were many demonstrations and aerial displays and each day of the festival attracted more than 200,000 people. The show ended with a massive display of fireworks and the secrets of the deep show.