Get ready to party
Dancing queens and kings assemble, welcome to your ultimate guide to the Platinum Jubilee long weekend
The countdown is on – it’s just a few days until we get out the bunting, bake the cakes and go all red, white and blue for the Platinum Jubilee long weekend. And boy, do we all need a reason to celebrate right now. Here’s our guide to what’s on, when:
Platinum Party at the Palace
The biggest event during the Jubilee is the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert, where showbiz stars will perform on a huge three-stage set around the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. Diana Ross is headlining the concert on Saturday June 4 and other acts include Queen and Adam Lambert, Sir Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow, George Ezra, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Mimi Webb, Sam Ryder, Jax Jones, Celeste, Nile Rodgers and Diversity.
There will also be a recorded performance from Sir Elton John. Other celebrities taking part include Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry, Dame Julie Andrews, The Royal Ballet, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ellie Simmonds.
Tickets were balloted, but if you didn’t get one, you can watch the concert on BBC One from 8pm and BBC iPlayer.
Platinum Jubilee Pageant
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant, on Sunday June 5, also promises to be a huge spectacle. The lavish three-hour parade celebrates Her Majesty’s 70-year-reign and will feature a huge dragon puppet, vintage costumes and cars as well as military bands and performers, such a trapeze artist suspended underneath a huge balloon emblazoned with a picture of the Queen. Sir Michael Morpurgo’s fairy story There Once Is A Queen, will be re-enacted by artists. Ed Sheeran, Alan Titchmarsh and Sir Cliff Richard are expected to make appearances. A River Of Hope, consisting of 200 silk flags designed by schoolchildren, will also join the parade down the Mall. It’s a huge endeavour and promises to be the biggest parade seen in years. It’s open to all and will be live-streamed on BBC One from 1pm.
The Big Jubilee Lunch
Also on Sunday June 5, the Big Jubilee Lunch will see street parties take place all over Britain. Are you joining in? More than 16,000 street parties are expected to be held, with local councils up and down the country saying they have received a huge number of applications.
The Tower of London’s Superbloom
To get into the spirit, from June 1, the Tower of London is hosting Superbloom, where more than 20 million seeds sown together will create a spectacular display of colourful flowers which will flood the Tower’s moat. Plus there’s a giant slide into it!
Trooping the Colour
The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour) will take place on Thursday, June 2 at Buckingham Palace, where 1,450 soldiers, 240 horses and 400 Army musicians will parade for the occasion. The Queen and some of her family, will appear on the balcony afterwards to watch a 70-aircraft RAF flypast, which will include the famous Red Arrows. It’s open to the public and will be shown on BBC One from 10am.
Around sunset, on the same day, more than 1,500 beacons will be lit across the UK and in Commonwealth countries, as well as the main beacon set alight in Buckingham Palace. At 9.25pm, some of the Royal Family will gather at this centrepiece beacon – a 21-metre ‘Tree of Trees’ sculpture featuring 350 British trees created by Thomas Heatherwick.
Service of Thanksgiving
On Friday, June 3, there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign at St Paul’s Cathedral. The 11.30am service will be attended by the Queen and her family – including Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The Cathedral has also opened a new exhibition Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World. BBC One will broadcast the service from 9.15am.
The Cazoo Derby
On Saturday June 4, the Queen, along with members of her family, will attend the Epsom Derby, one of her favourite engagements of the year. Watch it on ITV at 4pm.
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