This weekend the Royal Family will gather together for the main celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Events are being staged up and down the country throughout the year, but this Saturday (June 2) through to Tuesday (June 5) will see the focal point of the festivities, as the country unites for the main Jubilee weekend.
Here is a run-down of exactly what events and activities the Royal Family will be involved with during the four main Jubilee celebration days.
Saturday June 2
The Epsom Derby:
The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby, a prestigious sporting event which is expected to be attended by over 130,000 racegoers. Entertainment will come from Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, who will perform alongside the Band of HM Royal Marines for a rendition of the national anthem.
Rather appropriately the Coronation Cup has been renamed the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup, and the trophy will be presented by the Queen.
Sunday June 3
The Big Jubilee Lunch:
People around the country will be encouraged to come together to host their very own Big Lunch, with friends, family and neighbours, as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the patron of the Big Jubilee Lunch. Celebs are getting involved too, with Joanna Lumley said to be planning her own very special picnic on the big day!
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant:
Up to 1,000 boats will assemble on the Thames from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world. The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other senior Royals such as Wills and Kate, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will travel on the Royal barge, also known as the Spirit of Chartwell. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, is patron of the pageant.
At 2.30pm, the Queen will embark the Royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, near Albert Bridge. At 4.15pm, the Royal barge will come alongside HMS President (Royal Naval Reserve Unit), near Tower Bridge.
Monday June 4
Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace
Perhaps one of the most hyped events of the Jubilee, stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Dame Shirley Bassey, Jessie J, Kylie Minogue, and Cliff Richard will perform for Her Majesty and the assembled crowds at this televised concert. The festivities kick off at 7.30pm.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Beacons
Thousands of beacons will be lit by communities and individuals throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth will also light the National Beacon, as she did in 2002 at her Golden Jubilee. This is expected to take place at 10.30pm outside Buckingham Palace.
Tuesday June 5 2012
The Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations will close with a day of events in central London, with the Queen beginning the day at 10.15am when Her Majesty will leave Buckingham Palace by car.
Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral
The National Service of Thanksgiving will be conducted by the Dean of St Paul’s, The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, with the Archbishop of Canterbury also preaching at the ceremony.
The Queen will walk down the aisle accompanied by senior royals including Prince Charles and and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.
Highlights of the service will include a performance from children from around the UK who will sing for the congregation, and a special prayer for the Diamond Jubilee. The service will take place between 10.30am and 11.30am.
Reception at Mansion House/Guildhall
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will then travel to a reception at Mansion House, while other members of the Royal Family will attend a reception at Guildhall. The receptions are for those taking part in the Thanksgiving service and members of the congregation.
Following this, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will travel by car from Mansion House to the Palace of Westminster, where other royals including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the Diamond Jubilee lunch.
A small number of representatives from sponsoring livery companies will attend the lunch, with a guest list of around 700 mostly made up of people from around the country, whose trade, craft or profession is represented by one of the many different liveries taking part in the event.
After this prestigious lunch, The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry will leave the Palace of Westminster for Buckingham Palace in a carriage procession. This is expected to happen at around 2.20pm. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will make their way their in the 1902 State Landau – the open-top carriage Kate and William travelled in after making their marriage vows at Westminster Abbey last April.
At approximately 3.25pm, the Royal Family appear on the Balcony at Buckingham Palace, delighting the crowds of thousands expected to turn out on the day. There will be an RAF flypast and a Feu de Joie (Fire of Joy) – a celebratory cascade of rifle fire given as a salute by the Queen’s Guard from the Forecourt of the palace.
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