The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be marked with community celebrations and national events. HM Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch other than Queen Victoria to have reigned for 60 years.
Buckingham Palace says a special televised event is being planned alongside the ‘Big Jubilee Sunday Lunch’ – where neighbours and friends across the UK and Commonwealth can come together to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign (more details below).
An equestrian sports and horse racing enthusiast, The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby during the weekend of celebrations and is likely to have one of her own horses entered in the big race. Katherine Jenkins will perform the National Anthem to HM The Queen on Derby Day.
Diamond Jubilee Beacons will be lit across the country, a service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral and a formal carriage procession staged in London.
Confirmed key events over the ‘ central weekend’
Saturday 2nd June, 2012
The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey.
Sunday 3rd June, 2012
The Big Jubilee Lunch: Building on the already popular Big Lunch initiative, people will be encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This may take the form of a traditional street party or a picnic lunch in small or larger groups. This event is being organised by the Big Lunch.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant: This event will take place on the Thames and consist of up to 1,000 boats assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world. The Queen will travel in the Royal Barge which will lead the flotilla. This event is being organised by the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation.
At high water in the afternoon of Sunday 3 June 2012, up to a thousand boats will muster on the River Thames in preparation for Her Majesty The Queen to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. It will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river. Rowed boats and working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes will be beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Flags, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs. The armed forces, fire, police, rescue and other services will be afloat and there will be an exuberance of historic boats, wooden launches, steam vessels and other boats of note.
The flotilla will be bolstered with passenger boats carrying up to 30,000 flag-waving members of the public placed centre stage (or rather mid-river) in this floating celebration of Her Majesty’s 60 year reign. The spectacle will be further enhanced with music barges and boats spouting geysers. Moreover, there will be specially constructed elements such as a floating belfry, its chiming bells answered by those from riverbank churches.
The opening ceremony of London’s Olympic Games will be just six weeks away and the public that crowd the riverbanks and bridges will give a rousing reception to the many boats that have travelled from far and wide to represent UK port cities, the Commonwealth countries and other international interests. Downriver of London Bridge, there will be a gun salute and the flotilla will passes through a spectacular avenue of sails made by traditional Thames sailing boats, oyster smacks, square riggers, naval vessels and other impressive ships.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant celebrates Her Majesty’s 60 years of service by magnificently bringing the Thames to life; making it joyously full with boats, resounding with clanging bells, tooting horns and sounding whistles; recalling both its royal heritage and its heyday as a working, bustling river.
Monday 4th June, 2012 (UK bank holiday)
BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace: There will be a televised Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace . This public event (tickets allocated by ballot – now closed) will form the centrepiece of the celebrations with the BBC and music maestro Gary Barlow bringing together some of the biggest names from the worlds of music, dance and musical theatre. Performers include; Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Elton John, Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran and Stevie Wonder. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC ONE television and Radio 2.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons: A network of 2,012 Beacons will be lit by communities and individuals throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, British Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth. As in 2002, The Queen will light the National Beacon. The beacons project is being organised by Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd.
Tuesday 5th June, 2012 (UK bank holiday)
Service of Thanksgiving and Carriage Procession: There will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and a formal carriage Procession by The Queen.
Please note: In addition, the Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place on 10th, 11th and 13th May 2012 in Windsor. Equestrian and other acts will travel from all around the world to perform in celebration .