Britain is to hold four days of celebrations in June to mark Queen Elizabeth’s seven decades on the throne. The 96-year-old Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning and currently the world’s oldest monarch, became queen on Feb. 6, 1952, on the death of her father King George VI.
There will be events held over two public holidays, starting on June 2, and the subsequent weekend, with the queen planning to attend a number of them. Here are details of the celebrations:
JUNE 2 The Queen’s Birthday Parade, known as “Trooping the Colour” and which has been held for more than 260 years, will be held in central London with more than 1,200 soldiers taking part along with military bands.
The queen has attended every such parade bar one since 1955, with scaled-down ceremonies taking place in the last two years because of coronavirus restrictions. There will be gun salutes and a fly-past by Royal Air Force planes. After the parade, the royal family will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to salute the crowds.
A national service of thanksgiving will be held at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, and its ‘Great Paul’ bell – the largest in the country and dating back to 1882 – will be rung for the first time at a royal occasion since being restored last year after a mechanism broke in the 1970s. After the service, a reception will be held at London’s Guildhall hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
JUNE 4 Members of the royal family will attend Epsom racecourse as it stages the 243rd running of “The Derby” horse race.
The queen, whose love of horse racing is well known and who is an owner and breeder of many horses herself, has been a regular attendee at the race in previous years. In the evening, a “Platinum Party at the Palace” concert will be staged at the front of Buckingham Palace. There will be “big name acts”, although the line-up has yet to be announced.
JUNE 5 “Big Jubilee Lunches” will be held across the country with more than 60,000 people registering to host an event or street party in Britain, while Buckingham Palace said more than 600 were also being staged across the globe, including in Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.
In the afternoon, a pageant will be held in central London with the Gold State Coach at its head that Elizabeth used on her coronation day in 1953. It has not been seen on the streets of the capital for 20 years. Organisers have said singer Ed Sheeran and more than 100 well-known figures from British cultural life will join some 10,000 performers and members of the armed forces for the parade, which will trace a route similar to that taken by the queen on the day of her coronation.
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