The Queen has marked her extraordinary 70-year reign on the throne, but the party has only just begun.
Yesterday, on February 6, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking an incredible seven decades of service to the people of the United Kingdom, its Realms, and the Commonwealth.
To celebrate the unprecedented anniversary, Buckingham Palace has announced that events will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four-day bank holiday weekend in the UK beginning on Thursday, June 2.
“There isn’t really a template for celebrating a British monarch’s 70-year reign, because it’s not happened before,” the BBC’s Royal correspondent Sean Coughlan said. (Indeed, her closest rival was the Queen’s great great grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years.)
Trooping the Colour
On the Thursday, the first day of the June weekend of celebrations, will be the Queen’s Birthday Parade, known as “Trooping the Colour”. According to the official British Monarchy website, Royal.uk, over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together to mark the occasion.
Anyone can apply to attend the event, which is decided by ballot.
Also on this day is the lighting of Platinum Jubilee Beacons. The Royal Family has a long tradition of marking moments with the lighting of beacons.
The official website states, “a beacon chain, once used as a tool for communication, has now become a symbol of unity across towns, borders, countries and continents and is often the central point of focus for any outdoor gathering or celebration.”
Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK territories. And for the first time, “beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries,” according to Royal.uk.
This, of course, includes Canberra.
“Seventy years of service is a truly immense achievement, and we are proud to join with other Commonwealth nations to celebrate this milestone,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“Her Majesty has always held a deep affection and close connection with the people of Australia.”
Service of Thanksgiving
On Friday, June 3, a “Service of Thanksgiving” for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Such events are a reminder “of how much the Queen has been a constant figure,” Mr Coughlan said.
“A recent study showed for 85 per cent of the population she’s the only monarch they’ve ever known.”
“A recent study showed for 85 per cent of the population she’s the only monarch they’ve ever known,” – BBC’s Royal correspondent Sean Coughlan
Derbies and Parties
The next day, Saturday June 4, Her Majesty will get down to the Derby at the Epsom Downs Racecourse, in Surrey.
Then the BBC will host a massive bash at Buckingham Place – dubbed “The Platinum Party at the Palace.”
This will be a live concert bringing together some of the world’s “biggest stars” to celebrate significant moments during the Queen’s reign. As for which stars, no names have yet been released.
Anyone can apply to attend the party, and people will be selected by ballot.
The final day of celebrations will see special lunches held throughout the UK, where people are “invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations”.
“The Big Jubilee Lunch” project will provide tips and ideas for hosting such an event.
Also on this day will be the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London. “Artistic performers, dancers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers will unite to tell the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign in an awe-inspiring festival of creativity,” according to Royal.uk.
The Platinum Pageant will include a “River of Hope” section, which will comprise of two hundred silk flags which will move down The Mall, near Buckingham Palace, appearing like a “moving river.”
School children are invited to create an artwork of their “hopes and aspirations” for the planet, and a selection of these creations will be placed on the flags.
The artwork on the flags will be focused on climate change.
Leave room for dessert because one of the events leading up to the June weekend is a pudding competition to discover “a brand-new pudding dedicated to The Queen,” according to Royal.uk.
UK residents aged eight and over are invited to create the “perfect” Platinum Pudding recipe.
The winning recipe will be made available to the public, and the pudding will be enjoyed at the Big Jubilee lunches during the weekend.
“It’s going to be puddings, parties, parades and pageants, in honour of the Platinum Jubilee,” Mr Coughlan said.
“This will be a marker for memories in many people’s lives.”
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Feature image: The Royal Family Facebook