England is ready to party! More than 1,000 performers performed at A Gallop Through History between 12 and 15 May.
The event is just the first of many that will take place in May and June of this year. The United Kingdom is going all out to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, and you shouldn’t miss the occasion. But before you head to merry England or as part of your current stay, it is helpful to know a little more insight into what is going on.
What is the Queen’s Jubilee, and when is the Jubilee bank holiday? What events will take place around Jubilee weekend? How can you participate, including in Cambridge?
We are taking a look at how you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime Royal celebration. Here is your quick guide.
What is the Platinum Jubilee?
King George VI died on 6 February 1952. Though Queen Elizabeth did not receive her formal coronation until 2 June 1953, she immediately took on the role of Queen of the United Kingdom.
Elizabeth has remained Queen for 70 years, and she is the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom. The Platinum Jubilee celebration commemorates her 70 years on the throne and her and her family’s good works.
To acknowledge her coronation date, the British government is scheduling events on and around 2 June. However, you can find formal and informal events to celebrate the Queen at other times besides that historical day.
The British government has declared a four-day bank holiday weekend between Thursday 2 June and Sunday 5 June. The normal spring bank holiday at the end of May has been moved to this weekend.
Financial institutions will be closed, though you may be able to conduct some business online. Most major businesses will also be closed, including some retail outlets.
Ceremonies Around the Jubilee Bank Holiday
The Jubilee Day festivities begin with Trooping the Colour at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are sold out for seats at the event, but you can view the display while standing between Buckingham Palace and the parade ground. You can also go to St. James’ Park and watch the parade on big screens.
Beacon lightings will then occur. The Principal Beacon will be lit at 9:00 p.m. in front of Buckingham Palace. You can also find community beacons throughout the UK with lightings at different times.
On 3 June, a Service of Thanksgiving will occur at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Great Paul, the UK’s largest church bell, will be rung for the first time for a Queen celebration.
On 4 June, the Derby at Epsom Downs will take place. The Platinum Party at the Palace will occur at night, featuring musical performances and appearances by Britain’s best actors and athletes. Tickets are closed for the party, but you can watch the event on BBC One.
Big Jubilee Lunches will take place throughout Britain on 5 June. Each lunch is different, with some lunches being elaborate street parties and others being garden barbeques.
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant is a parade that includes music and other performances. It tells the Queen’s history and it ends with a performance at Buckingham Palace. Tickets are not required to attend the pageant.
The Queen’s Green Canopy takes place throughout 2022. Estates and grandees have signed up to plant trees and create new copses. You can plant trees alongside others or go through tours through the new woods.
Super Bloom begins at the Tower of London on 1 June and ends on 18 September. More than 20 million seeds have been planted around the Tower’s moat. You can view the flowers for free from a platform, or you can pay a fee to take a tour.
The Queen’s Coronation is an exhibit at Windsor Castle. It opens on 7 July and closes on 26 September. You can view the gown the Queen wore at her coronation.
The Queen’s Accession is a separate photo exhibit at Buckingham Palace. You can visit it starting on 22 July and see photos of the Queen at her coronation as well as the jewellery she wore.
Kensington Palace offers Life Through a Royal Lens. It is a photo exhibit running until 30 October, featuring the Queen’s coronation portrait as well as family photographs.
How to Celebrate
Tickets for many Jubilee events are already sold out. You may be able to find a ticket through a scalper or a friend, but the odds are that you will not be able to attend events directly.
However, all Jubilee weekend events will be televised on the BBC. You can watch it at home, or maybe find a viewing at a bar or restaurant.
The exhibits at the royal palaces and castles all come with the price of entry. A visit to Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle can last several hours or a whole day, so feel free to spend your time touring the grounds.
Research the Big Jubilee Lunches to see if there is one near you. Cambridge has several local lunches and other events you can attend while you are staying in a Cambridge apartment. You will also find as you walk around the streets that there will be several Jubilee street parties taking place among many residents for this special occasion.
You can also enjoy your own little relaxed celebration in your apartment with some quintessentially English food and drinks and I’m sure you won’t be short of shops selling memorabilia.
Enjoy the Queen’s Jubilee Festivities
The Queen’s Jubilee is a year-long celebration of the Queen’s 70th year on the throne. Most events take place around Jubilee Day on 2 June, and you can enjoy parades, live music performances, and lunches. However, look out for events all the way through until Sunday.
You can also visit the royal palaces and look at photo exhibits celebrating the Queen and her family. Though most events are sold out, you can watch the parades from the streets. You can find informal lunches and parties in Cambridge and other cities as well.
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