Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: How Will the UK Celebrate?
What to expect at one of the country's largest celebratory events in decades
Street parties, star-studded concerts and pudding competitions: just some of the events taking place this year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On 6 February, The Queen will become the first British monarch to celebrate a 70-year reign. Festivities will take place throughout the year, culminating in an extended Bank Holiday weekend from 2 – 5 June – which means we get one extra work-free day in 2022.
Kicking off celebrations is the Platinum Pudding Competition, with Fortnum & Mason inviting Britain’s amateur bakers to take part in the ultimate challenge: to create a dessert fit for the Queen. It’s hoped that the winning dish – which will be selected by a panel of judges including Mary Berry and Monica Galetti – will become a national favourite, similar to the Victoria sponge named in honour of Queen Victoria.
Over the long weekend, events will begin with Trooping the Colour on 2 June, which is being held in full for the first time since the pandemic. This will see 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians coming together in the traditional Parade.
On 4 June, Buckingham Palace will host a Platinum Party featuring performances from some of the world’s biggest stars. Members of the public will be invited to apply for tickets using a ballot, which launches in February.
The final day of festivities on 5 June will be centred around The People’s Pageant, with performances from a line-up of national treasures – the headline act being Ed Sheeran. He’ll feature alongside the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Heston Blumenthal, Gary Lineker and James Martin. The spectacle will see each decade from the 1950s will be reflected through street art, theatre and dance, with nods to The Queen’s passions like corgis and racehorses – with over 10,000 people involved including the military, key workers and members of the general public.
The pageant will be split up into four acts. To mark the beginning, the bells of Westminster Abbey will peel as they did on Coronation Day, followed by a military parade featuring around 1,750 individuals and 200 horses.
Act II, The Time of Our Lives, will showcase the seven decades of the Queen’s reign, from music to dance to fashion and culture. An open-topped double decker bus will be the central feature, highlighting each decade and capturing the zeitgeist of the time. This section will also star some of the national treasures as outlined above.
Act III, Let’s Celebrate, will focus on the Queen’s life and personal interests through a mixture of street theatre, urban dance and carnival. It will begin with a puppet dragon larger than a double decker bus with a wingspan of the Mall, alongside a trapeze artist suspended under beneath a huge balloon printed with an image of the Queen.
A grand finale will form around the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, culminating in a performance from Ed Sheeran.
Celebrations will also take place throughout the year at the Sandringham Estate, The Queen’s country retreat in Norfolk. A special exhibition will go on display from April, Her Majesty The Queen at Sandringham: An Exemplary Reign and a Unique Country House. This will include objects and photography relating to The Queen’s love of animals, horses and the great outdoors, alongside a special audio-visual display focusing on the very first Christmas Day speech broadcast in 1957.
A number of events will also take place at Sandringham over the extended June Bank Holiday weekend. On 3 June, Katherine Jenkins OBE will be joined by The Military Wives to perform a live outdoor music concert, followed by a pageant showcasing a decade of motoring.
Nicholas Coleridge, co-chairman of the pageant, said: ‘The Platinum Jubilee weekend is an opportunity for the country to emerge re-energised and renewed, expressing optimism and confidence. It will be something of a reopening ceremony for the United Kingdom, following a period of uncertainty and hardship, a catalysing moment of unity and fun. Through the fusion of ceremonial and pageantry with razzmatazz and festival, we intend to create a spectacle that is at once energising and memorable and a fitting tribute to The Queen.’
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