The UK is gearing up to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over a bumper four-day bank holiday weekend.
It is the first time in British history that a monarch has reached the milestone.
Thousands of street parties have been organized up and down the country, along with official events such as Trooping the Color and an open-air concert at Buckingham Palace.
However, the celebrations are actually taking place four months after the Queen marked 70 years on the throne.
Why is the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday in June?
The Platinum Jubilee bank holiday falls almost four months after Elizabeth II celebrated the 70th anniversary of her accession on 6 February 2022.
However, that also marked 70 years since the death of her father, King George VI, and was therefore not an occasion the monarch wished to celebrate.
The first week of June was therefore chosen for the Platinum Jubilee weekend, just like the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the summer month offering a better chance of good weather.
The bank holiday for the jubilee is on Friday 3 June.
To create the four-day weekend, the late May spring bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June.
George VI – who became king unexpectedly after the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII – died in his sleep at Sandringham on 6 February 1952.
Elizabeth II was announced as his successor. She was aged just 25 at the time, and was on a visit to Kenya with Price Philip. She is now 96, and recently celebrated her birthday.
Her coronation did not take place until 2 June 1953, after a period of mourning.
The King had been battling ill health and failed to recover from a lung operation.
His body was discovered by a valet at 7.30am. At 10.45am, it was announced: “The King, who retired to rest last night in his usual health, passed peacefully away in his sleep early this morning.”
When are the official Platinum Jubilee events?
Here is the rundown of what will happen as the nation pays tribute to the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign:
Thursday June 2
10am – The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Color, begins
10.30am – Members of the royal family leave Buckingham Palace for the parade ground
The military spectacle will be followed by a wafer appearance by the Queen, it is hoped, plus key royals including the Cambridge children, to watch a special flypast
9.25pm – Members of the Royal Family arrive to watch the lighting of the principal beacon at the palace – a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture.
More than 3,000 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth
Friday June 3
11am – The royal family begin to arrive at the service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral
12.25pm – Members of the Royal Family afterwards attend a Guildhall reception hosted by the Lord Mayor
Saturday June 4
5.30pm – The Epsom Derby race takes place. The Queen and her family are expected to head to the racecourse on Derby Day, where the monarch is due to be greeted with a guard of honor made of up to 40 of her past and present jockeys
7.40pm – Members of the Royal Family arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert
8pm-10.30pm – The open-air concert in front of the palace – featuring stars including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross – is broadcast live on BBC One
Sunday June 5
Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches are staged across the country
2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a cast of thousands including puppets, celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign
It will move down The Mall and past the palace
The finale will feature a performance by Ed Sheeran and the singing of the national anthem in front of the Queen’s official residence
How can I find jubilee events near me?
There is an interactive map showing all the registered events and street parties on the official Platinum Jubilee website.
You can either enter your postcode to search for events near you, or click on a pin on the map. That will then tell you more about a particular event.
More than 2,400 events and 3,100 parties have already been organized, as far north as the Scottish islands and as far south as Penzance.
If you are looking for a Big Jubilee Lunch event, you can find one on the project’s own interactive map here.
The Big Lunch is a street party project that runs street parties with the aim of fostering healthier and safer communities.
Nextdoor Jubilee also has a map of events, which you can find here.