Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Buckingham Palace reveals bank holiday programme of events
Written by Gavin on 6th May 2022
Next month’s celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee have been revealed by Buckingham Palace.
From a pop concert outside the palace to a £15m carnival featuring a puppet dragon as wide as the Mall, the four-day Bank Holiday weekend is full of events across London and the rest of the UK.
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant on the final day of celebrations will include performances by some of the world’s biggest names, including Ed Sheeran and Sir Cliff Richard.
The Queen is set to attend Derby Day at Epsom races, parts of the pageant and concert, but other senior royals are expected to take her place at other events in light of recent decisions to scale back her in-person engagements.
Her Majesty would usually spend the anniversary of her coronation privately at Sandringham – but this year, given the significance of the occasion, things will be slightly different.
Thursday 2 June
The four-day Bank Holiday weekend kicks off at 10am with a special Jubilee edition of the usual Trooping The Colour parade in central London.
Thousands are expected to turn out for the Queen’s Birthday Parade, which will feature the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, more than 1,200 soldiers from the Household Division, 200 horses, and 400 musicians, and see members of the Royal Family appear on horseback and in carriages.
It will start at Buckingham Palace and move down the Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade before a gun is fired.
People will be allowed to assemble along the Mall and in front of large screens in St James’s Park.
The Queen will then appear on the Palace balcony for a traditional RAF flypast accompanied by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges, Wessexes, Gloucesters, Duke of Kent, Princess Anne and her husband, and Princess Alexandra.
Buckingham Palace said that after “careful consideration” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince Andrew will not appear on the balcony.
On Thursday evening 2,000 towns, villages and cities throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and overseas territories will light beacons at the same as one is lit at Buckingham Palace.
The ceremony at the palace will feature The Queen’s Green Canopy of Trees installation, which reflects the Royal Family’s championing of environmental causes.
Beacons were also lit at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the Queen’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002 and 2012.
Balmoral and Sandringham will be opened to the public throughout the weekend.
Friday 3 June
The next day, a service of thanksgiving for the Queen and her reign will be held in the grand surrounds of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Before the service starts at 11.30am, Grand Paul, the largest church bell in the country, will be rung between 10.50am and 10.55am – for just the eighth time since it was restored in 2021.
A reception will be held at the Guildhall after the service, which will feature a new Anthem by Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir.
More details of the service will be released closer to the time.
Saturday 4 June
On Saturday, 4 June the Queen and other senior royals will attend Derby Day at Epsom Downs racecourse in Surrey.
The Derby is the only one of the five flat races the Queen hasn’t won with one of her horses.
Later that day 22,000 people will attend the Platinum Party at the Palace.
All the tickets have already been allocated, 10,000 to the public and 5,000 specifically for key workers, but it will be broadcast live on the BBC with coverage hosted by Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp.
The full line-up will be revealed in the coming weeks but is being billed as “bringing together some of the world’s biggest stars”.
So far the palace has promised global music stars, a full live orchestra, and actors from film, TV and stage “telling the story and celebrating some of the most significant cultural moments from the Queen’s reign”.
The last Party at the Palace, for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, saw Queen’s Brian May perform on the roof.
Sunday 5 June
The Bank Holiday will culminate in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant – a £15m carnival finale to the Jubilee celebrations.
On Sunday afternoon a parade of more than 10,000 people will begin with the chiming of bells at Westminster Abbey – to mirror the Queen’s coronation.
Along a 3km route from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace, an army of volunteers, dancers, musicians and members of the military will tell the story of her 70-year reign.
The Gold State Coach, used only for coronations and jubilees and not seen on the streets of London since 2002, will be at the heart of the parade and led by the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry.
Built in 1762, this time the coach will not carry the Queen, but original archive footage of her coronation day projected from each window.
The pageant will be divided into four acts: For Queen and Country, The Time of Our Lives, Let’s Celebrate, and Happy and Glorious.
The first will feature a military parade of 1,750 people and 200 horses – one of the largest spectacles in British history – from the Army, Navy, RAF and the Commonwealth.
The second act is a “vibrant display of British life since 1972” and a celebration of the culture, music and technology of the last 70 years.
From double-decker buses to Daleks, Time of Our Lives will also feature some of James Bond’s most iconic cars and a showcase of fashion from the Teddy Boys to punks and acid house ravers.
Around 150 “national treasures” are taking part, with names including Gary Lineker, Bill Bailey, Alan Titchmarsh, Sir Cliff Richard and Torvill and Dean.
The third section, Let’s Celebrate, will tell the story of the Queen’s life in 12 chapters, with a nod to her corgis and her beloved horses.
At one stage, the Queen will be imagined in her younger days with a 20ft puppet of a youthful princess surrounded by a pack of mischievous puppet corgis.
It will also feature a 21ft-tall puppet dragon with a wingspan as wide as the Mall, while her purple and white coronation robe will be recreated by 80 dancers flanked by twirling “baianas”.
The Queen’s 1947 wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh will be marked by a giant four-tier wedding cake baked by acrobatic cooks on the move.
The cake, which will be followed by Bollywood dancers, will house a sound system playing a medley of Asian music, as a tribute to the coming together of people across the UK and Commonwealth.
The final act will take place in front of the palace, around the Queen Victoria Memorial.
There – members of the public will be invited to join and sing the national anthem, which will be led by a gospel choir and the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
Ed Sheeran will end the celebrations with a musical tribute. He said: “I am looking forward to performing in June. I’m proud to be part of the celebration and it’s going to be a great opportunity to bring everyone together.”
For those not in London, before the parade, Britons will be encouraged to take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch – an annual event that began in 2009 to bring communities together.
Taking the form of picnics, BBQs and tea and cake, more than 60,000 people have registered to host Big Jubilee Lunches throughout the weekend so far, including one vying to set the world record for the longest ever street party.
One will also be held at The Oval in London with a “specially-invited audience”.
Via IRN/SKY News for GTFM