Crowds braved torrential rain to welcome the start of the annual carnival parade.

Decorated floats with a royal theme assembled outside of the St Joan of Arc School in Rickmansworth around 12pm in preparation for the Rickmansworth Parade

The parade was joined by parents and children all celebrating the upcoming wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19.

The Rickmansworth Society also selected winners of the Young Ricky Champions, who have showed "Initiative, courage, hard work and tenacity in the face of difficulty."

They are Adam Finch of Rickmansworth school and nine girls from a Girlguide group in the area.

Deputy head of sixth form at Rickmansworth School Angela Hughes said: "Adam received his award because of his commitment to improving his school and local community.

"This really makes him stand out from the crowd.

"Adam is also a senior Sea Cadet, giving up two evenings a week to better the life chances of others in the area."

The joint winners of the girl's award are Beth Barrett, Sophia Dobson, Eleanor Frater, Emily Hampton, Eve Kelly, Emily Manning, Imogen Small, Ella Sweeney and Darcy Wood.

Rickmansworth Girlguiding district commissioner Ali Hampton said: "We have nine fabulous Young Leaders who give up their time, week after week, to assist in running our local Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units.

"Helping with outings and camps. We don't think we can single anyone out in particular, they are all invaluable."

David Gauke, MP for Three Rivers District also visited the festival.

He said: "It's always a pleasure to attend the opening of Ricky week.

"It's a slightly different venue today at Basing House but it's great to look at the different groups and ambassadors for Ricky week.

"I've always managed to make it for Ricky week and this is my 15th time.

The Rickmansworth Festival started as a purely canal-based festival in 1993.

The festival is now a well-established celebrations of the waterways and the environment, held on the third weekend of May each year.