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Britain has never seen one before… and may never do so again. So break out the bunting and get ready to celebrate this year’s historic Platinum Jubilee. Over a billion viewers worldwide are expected to tune in to watch the festivities, and more than 16,000 street parties are planned across the UK. The celebrations begin with two bank holidays – Thursday and Friday – and culminate on Sunday with a rousing, star-studded rendition of the National Anthem. Here is your run-down to a four-day weekend which promises to be both happy and glorious…
Thursday, June 2
Queen’s Birthday Parade
At 10am the festivities begin with a special Trooping the Colour parade. It will include military personnel and members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.
The finest of British pomp and pageantry will be on display as the Colour – a regimental flag – is trooped by the Irish Guards, which have Prince William as their Colonel.
A flypast by more than 70 aircraft from the Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy will follow the parade, which has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for more than 260 years. The Red Arrows pictured over Buckingham Palace in June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee
A flypast by more than 70 aircraft from the Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy will follow the parade, which has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for more than 260 years.
The display – featuring three times the number of aircraft in the Queen’s last birthday flypast in 2019 – will include an aerobatic performance by the Red Arrows, alongside helicopters and other aircraft that have been used to respond to recent events in Ukraine and during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen, joined by working members of the Royal Family, will watch from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.
As the sun sets on the first day of celebrations, thousands of Platinum Jubilee beacons will be lit throughout Britain and across the Commonwealth.
At 9.25pm, members of the Royal Family will gather to watch as a 21m (69ft) Tree of Trees sculpture is lit outside Buckingham Palace.
Diana Ross and Sir Rod Stewart to headline Platinum Party At The Palace
Diana Ross and Sir Rod Stewart are among the headline acts at the Platinum Party At The Palace, which promises to be a highlight of the celebrations.
Stars from opera to pop music will appear on three huge stages and Sir Elton John will pre-record a special performance.
The BBC’s live broadcast starts on Saturday at 8pm with a performance by Queen, with singer Adam Lambert, which organisers say will ‘summon memories of Brian May’s historic appearance on the Palace roof at the Golden Jubilee Concert’.
Other performers include Elbow, Alicia Keys, George Ezra, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Sam Ryder, Jax Jones, Mabel and Diversity.
Friday, June 3
Service at St Paul’s Cathedral
Great Paul, the country’s largest church bell, will peel to signify a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s.
Plans are in place to take into account the Queen’s comfort, and she is likely to enter from a side door. Members of the family expected to attend include the Duke of York and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The service starts at 11.30am and will include a new anthem by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, with words from the third chapter of the Book Of Proverbs.
Afterwards the Lord Mayor will host a reception at the Guildhall, with Royals arriving from 12.25pm.
Saturday, June 4
Derby at Epsom Downs
Royals are expected to attend the famous race day from 4.30pm, and 40 of the Queen’s past and present jockeys will form a guard of honour.
Party at the Palace
A spectacular line-up of stars will perform at a concert near the Victoria Memorial, outside Buckingham Palace. There are 22,000 tickets but a further 100,000 are expected to be available on the Mall itself. Millions are expected to watch from 8-10pm when the concert is broadcast live.
Sunday, June 5
Big Jubilee Lunch
More than 16,000 street parties are planned and more than 60,000 people have registered to host community lunches across the country.
There will also be 600 Big Jubilee Lunches across the Commonwealth and beyond.
Diana Ross (pictured) and Sir Rod Stewart are among the headline acts at the Platinum Party At The Palace, which promises to be a highlight of the celebrations
An ambitious three-hour pageant will transform the streets of London with a vibrant display of colour and dance.
The show will culminate in a grand finale with a performance by Ed Sheeran, before a gospel choir and military band lead the nation in singing the National Anthem.