There aren’t many things in life longer in the making than the opening of the Elizabeth Line but one of them is the Platinum Jubilee which marks the 70th year of service Her Majesty The Queen has given to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth, the longest in history.
To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday this coming weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.
The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service as well as events as far apart as New Zealand, India and North America.
Thursday 2nd June
Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Thursday 2nd June 2022 starting at 11am. The colour will be trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, and more than 1200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division will put on a display of military pageantry on Horse Guards Parade, together with hundreds of Army musicians and around 240 horses. This annual event has now marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years.
During the Queen’s birthday parade A Royal Gun Salute will be fired. There are several good viewing areas to see much of the spectacle aside from those go ticketed points which long ago sold out.
There will be an impressive Flypast to coincide with the Royal Family’s balcony appearance which of course is centred on Buckingham Palace. As with much of the celebrations, it will be broadcast on the BBC but many people in the South East of England will be able to see elements of the huge Flypast either to or from Buckingham Palace.
Platinum Jubilee Beacons: The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will continue for the Platinum Jubilee.
A beacon chain, once used as a tool for communication, has now become a symbol of unity across towns, borders, countries and continents and is often the central point of focus for any outdoor gathering or celebration. In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1977, 2002 and 2012, beacons commemorated the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of The Queen, and in 2016 Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
The Principal beacon, involving The Tree of Trees (a 21m high ‘tree’ constructed of 350 smaller trees), will be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace at 9pm.
There are three kinds of beacon events:
- Community Beacons – thousands of beacons will be lit by communities, charities and different groups throughout the regions of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
- Commonwealth Beacons – beacons will be lit in all capital cities of the Commonwealth – 54 in total.
- Principal Beacon – to be lit on the 2nd June in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Friday 3rd June
Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. Great Paul, the largest church bell in the country, will be rung for the Service. It was made in 1882, but fell silent in the 1970s due to a broken mechanism. It was restored in 2021 and has been rung on 8 occasions since, but this is the 1st royal occasion it will be rung.
Saturday 4th June
The Derby at Epsom Downs: Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.
Platinum Party at the Palace: Hosts Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party at the Palace and air live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and across the BBC network. The celebration will see famous faces from the world of entertainment brought together to perform for a night of musical tributes to celebrate the Jubilee. 22,000 people will attend the event including 10,000 allocated in a public ballot and 5,000 tickets for key workers.
Sunday 5th June
The Big Jubilee Lunch:
Over 60k people have registered to host Big Jubilee Lunches on the Platinum celebration weekend, with events ranging from world record attempts for the longest street party to back garden BBQ’s and everything in between. Over ten million people across the UK are expected to be joining the celebrations to share friendship, food and fun at Big Jubilee Lunches as part of this nationwide act of community friendship. People across the world are also joining in with over 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches being planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond – from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa to Switzerland.
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: The Gold State Carriage, led by The Sovereign’s Escort, will lead the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, embracing the latest in digital technology to evoke the excitement and majesty of her journey to be crowned 70 years ago though it is not thought The Queen will travel in the carriage.
The Pageant will serve as an opportunity to gather and pay tribute to Her Majesty. It will culminate with the singing of the National Anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’ and a gospel choir to the sounds of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
The Pageant will bring to life iconic moments from The Queen’s reign as well as showcasing our changing society over the past 70 years.
10,000 people are involved, including the military, over 6,000 volunteers, performers, key workers and 2,500 members of the general public and there will be links with communities across the islands.
I hope everyone enjoys it whether in person, at a local event round the U.K. or on the television around the world… or like myself from the middle of it all if you happening to be working on a tour!