The United Kingdom and London in particular is abuzz at the moment in anticipation of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A number of events are planned to mark the occasion.
Buckingham Palace Lights Up
24 projectors have been used to light up the eastern side of Buckingham Palace. Self portraits from 200,000 children across the United Kingdom and from celebrities such as Adele and Sir Cliff Richards have been combined to form images of the Queen on the walls of the Palace. The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts has organised the project in conjunction with the Face Britain project. The self-portraits which have created the Queen’s image will then be stored by the British Library.
Diamond Jubilee Pageant
It all kicks off in May with the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle with a 3 night specially choreographed show featuring over 500 horses and more than 1000 dancers, musicians and performers from all across the globe reflecting on Her Majesty’s State and Commonwealth visits during the course of her reign.
The seven act production will be broken up into various geographical groupings. Entitled ‘Around the World in 60 Years and 90 Minutes’ it will feature indigenous dancers, musicians, military personnel and horsemen who will join together in a scene full of movement, colour and sound, that culminates in a spectacular demonstration of the culture of the country.
The highlight will be on 13th of May with special guest appearances and performances by a swath of celebrities such as Dame Helen Mirren, Rolf Harris, Susan Boyle and the cast of the West End production of the Lion King who will be joined by Il Divo and the Nairobi Chamber Choir.
The celebrations continue with the Diamond Jubilee Central Weekend, with a number of events organised by Buckingham Palace. The Queen will be attending the Epsom Derby on the 2nd of June on the 60th anniversary of her coronation and will kick off a four day weekend. The next day will see scores of people coming together for the ‘Big Jubilee Lunch‘ where street parties and groups will be encouraged to come together to share lunch. A similar event last year saw nearly 2 million people participate.
Later in the day there will also be the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant where Elizabeth II will lead a flotilla of up to 1,000 boats from across the globe down the Thames from Battersea Bridge down to the Tower Bridge.
The flotilla will be bolstered with passenger boats carrying up to 30,000 flag-waving members of the public who will be placed centre stage (or rather mid-river) in a floating celebration of Her Majesty’s 60 year reign. The spectacle will be further enhanced with music barges, boats spouting geysers and a floating belfry,with its chiming bells answered by those from riverbank churches.
Monday the 4th sees the BBC putting on a televised concert at Buckingham Palace featuring artists from the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth. Members of the public will be able to attend via selection in a ticket ballot. Later in the evening the Queen will be lighting the National Beacon and is expected to have over 3000 beacons lit across the country in a symbol of unity. Beacons will also be lit in a number of Commonwealth coutries and British Overseas Territories as well as in the United States and the Republic of Ireland.
The festivities conclude on the 5th of June with a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral and a formal carriage procession by the Queen through the city back to Buckingham Palace.