This June, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 60th anniversary as the reigning queen of 16 sovereign states with a Diamond Jubilee. The event is sure to be nothing less than royal, as it marks the first Diamond Jubilee since Queen Victoria’s in 1897 and the second in all of UK History. In addition to closing down schools and banks, the royal family will be touring the U.K. and the rest of the world. Let’s take a look at some of the events set for the June celebration.
March 20: The Queen’s Address
On March 20, the Queen addressed the Parliament to kick-off the Diamond Jubilee. She was presented with a stained-glass window as a gift to be installed in Westminster Hall.
May 10 – May 13: The Jubilee Pageant
The private grounds of Windsor Castle will be graced with performances and greetings from dancers, musicians, military personnel, and equestrian performers.
May 19: Parade at Windsor Castle
On May 19, a large-scale parade will feature 2,500 troops from the Royal Navy, the Army, and the Royal Air Force and approximately 3,000 Armed Force personnel, veterans, and family members.
June 2: Epsom Derby
Kind of like the Kentucky Derby, but with a different kind of accent.
June 3: Big Lunch
In honor of her majesty’s kindness and generosity, The Big Lunch initiative is hosting its fourth annual Big Lunch event. The Big Lunch initiative encourages UK citizens to share lunch with their neighbors and friends, with everything from small picnics to large street fairs. On Saturday June 3, everyone is invited to celebrate a Big Lunch in honor of their Queen and their communities. If you live in the UK, check out The Big Lunch website for a free information packet on how to get started with hosting your own Big Lunch. If you don’t live in the UK, why not celebrate anyway?
June 4: Buckingham Palace Concert
The Queen and the Royal Family will attend a BBC-organized concert at Buckingham Palace. Hope you’ve got your tickets, because the show is already sold out!
June 3: The Thames River Pageant
Thousands of boats will sail the River Thames in celebration of the Queen’s sixty-year reign.
June 3: Festival in Battersea Park
It’s not too late to get your tickets for the Festival at Battersea Park. Don’t miss this celebration of art, culture, design, fashion, film, and food!
June 4: The Jubilee Beacons
Of course, no jubilee would be complete without a grand gesture of spectacle and honor. Throughout the U.K., the Commonwealth, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and UK’s overseas territories, approximately 4,000 beacons will be lit for the Queen.
June 5: Thanksgiving Service
No, no, it’s not a mid-year turkey day, but rather a national Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. A special prayer will be written under the Queen’s guidance and discretion. This prayer will be shared for use at churches around the country and Commonwealth.
June 5: The Diamond Choir
Following the Service of Thanksgiving, a chorus of 40 selected singers, between the ages of 10-13, will perform a song written exclusively for the Jubilee celebration.
June 5: The Carriage Procession
This carriage procession will mark Kate and Will’s first carriage ride since their highly-publicized wedding last year. The processional route will include a reception at Guildhall, a lunch at Westminster Hall, and end with an appearance of the Royal Family waving from their famous Balcony.
Many of these events will be televised, so tune in to check out the fabulous hat-wear that’s sure to make an appearance. And if you’re looking to get a glimpse of the diamonds accrued over a diamond jubilee’s length reign, an exhibit at Buckingham Palace this summer will present what The Queen refers to as “my best diamonds,” including a 21 diamond necklace and bracelet set given to her for her 21st birthday. How much do you think she’d make if she sold them to Cash for Diamonds USA?
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