This weekend, the UK and Commonwealth will be full of celebration as we recognise the 70 years our Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, has dedicated to the British throne.
The Queen has celebrated her golden, diamond and sapphire jubilees but this year it’s her platinum jubilee and it will be a celebration like no other. An additional bank holiday has been added, pubs will be allowed to open for extended hours and there will be a real feeling of celebration and joy around the world. No matter where you are, you’re bound to hear something about the platinum jubilee this week!
The celebration spans 4 days and consists of events that epitomise British culture.
Thursday 2nd June
On Thursday, the royal family will travel by carriage for the Queen’s birthday parade, Trooping the Colour. This is completely free to attend and thousands of people will line the route to watch 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians parade round London with the senior members of the royal family travelling in ornate carriages. The royal family will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to the thousands of attendees before the RAF fly-past fashioning the British red, white and blue.
In the evening, there will be a special display of the Queen’s jubilee beacons. 3,000 towns, villages and cities throughout the UK, Commonwealth and Overseas Territories will light beacons in recognition of our Queen. This will start in the South Pacific in Tonga and Samoa and spread across the world, ending in London, where senior royals will gather outside Buckingham Palace to light the final 21-metre high beacon.
Friday 3rd June
Friday will be centred around St Paul’s Cathedral in London for a service of Thanksgiving. All members of the royal family will attend this service with the largest bell in the UK, Great Paul in St Paul’s Cathedral, ringing out. A private reception with the Lord Mayor of London will take place later that day.
Saturday 4th June
Saturday is all about the Platinum Jubilee Concert in stands outside Buckingham Palace and along the Mall. There is a star-studded lineup with British celebrities and artists from all backgrounds coming together to appear on the stage. Earlier in the day, the Epsom Derby will take place, which is an infamous horse-racing event.
Sunday 5th June
The celebrations will culminate with the Big Jubilee Lunch and Pageant. Jubilee Lunches are typically British and only date back to 2009 in preparation for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. At a Big Lunch (i.e. a street party) each household brings out a table and chairs onto the road with their own food and drink but each table connects to that of their neighbours. The idea behind the Big Lunch is to allow people to get to know their communities better and it has since become a traditional event for royal celebrations. Over 60,000 in the UK have registered for a Big Lunch but there will be many more spontaneous partiies on the day.
The final celebration will be the platinum pageant which will be a 3-hour event taking place on the Mall in London. Around 10,000 people including military, volunteers and performers will participate with singing, dancing and a carnival-like atmosphere. The pageant will come to a close with a rendition of the British national anthem, God Save the Queen.
Things to look out for …
→ A crazy amount of British flags hanging from every street corner
→ Jubilee souvenirs, including teddy bears, plates, mugs and hampers
→ Picnics in the park with typical British treats such as scones and jam, pork pies, coronation chicken, sausage rolls and Pimms
→ Loud renditions of British songs, including I Vow To Thee My Country, Land of Hope and Glory, Zadok The Priest, Jerusalem and Rule Britannia.