UK

Diamond Jubilee: Guide to the weekend of events

  • 30 May 2012
  • From the section UK
Flags in Regent Street, London

The Queen is marking her Diamond Jubilee this year and celebrations reach a peak in early June with a four-day weekend of events, between Saturday 2 and Tuesday 5 June.

The late May bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4 June and there is an additional Jubilee bank holiday on 5 June.

You can download a PDF version of this guide (2.74MB) , to print out and keep.

Saturday 2 June - Epsom Derby

The Queen attends the Epsom Derby on its second day. Organisers expect more than 200,000 people to attend the horse-racing event, which normally attracts 135,000 race-goers.

The Queen will visit the paddock and speak to trainers and jockeys. Katherine Jenkins will sing the National Anthem. The day will include a Red Arrows display and a photography exhibition of the Queen. The main race takes place at 16:00 BST.

Sunday 3 June - River Thames Pageant, Big Jubilee Lunch

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be one of the highlights of the weekend celebrations. At high water (about 14:00BST) more than 1,000 boats traditional and modern will escort the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh aboard a specially decorated royal barge down the River Thames.

Expect to see lots of red, white and blue on bridges and buildings along the river bank and hear church bells, fireworks, music and foghorns as hundreds of boats from all over the UK and beyond move at a gentle speed of four knots down seven miles of river. All kinds of boats will take part - rowing boats, historic, sailing and motorised boats, kayaks and canoes. It will take 75 minutes for the flotilla to pass any given point.

The floating procession will be interspersed with 10 musical barges carrying choirs and orchestras.

Boats that are too tall to travel under bridges will be moored at St Katharine Docks and along a mile-long stretch from London Bridge to Wapping known as the Avenue of Sail. They will be taking their positions two or three days before the event.

Safety and security is paramount - 5,500 police and 7,000 private stewards will be on duty and about 30,000 people have been security checked. All riverside roads and most bridges are closed to traffic from 07:00 BST until early evening. Lambeth, Westminster and Blackfriars bridges will be open to the public only at both ends and numbers will be restricted.

Four viewing areas at Albert Embankment, Battersea Park, Butler's Wharf and Victoria Tower Gardens will be designated for disabled spectators on a first come, first served basis.

Transport for London is urging the public to leave their cars at home and use public transport.

There will be big screens placed along the River Thames route and at two ticket-only family-friendly festivals in Hyde Park and Battersea Park. BBC Big Screens will be transmitting live BBC coverage in 22 locations around the UK.

The pageant route

Also on Sunday, in what is being called the Big Jubilee Lunch , people all over the UK are being encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends in street parties or picnics to bring communities together to celebrate the Queen's 60-year reign.

The Big Lunch event was originally launched by The Eden Project in 2009 and aims to improve society by helping people to meet their neighbours and feel part of a wider community.

The organisers are hoping millions of people will take part this year and are working with partners including the Scout Association, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Neighbourhood Watch, the National Federation of Women's Institutes, Age UK and Age Cymru, to encourage people to hold their own event.

Monday 4 June - Jubilee Picnic, BBC Concert, Jubilee Beacons

A special concert organised by the BBC and singer Gary Barlow will be held at Buckingham Palace. It will be attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family in the surroundings of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. Guests, who were granted tickets by ballot, will also be invited to attend a Jubilee picnic in the Buckingham Palace Gardens. The concert will begin at 19:30BST.

Headline acts include classic hits and one-off collaborations from artists including Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Elton John, Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Ed Sheeran.

When the concert ends at 22:00BST, more than 4,000 beacons will be lit in the UK and around the world to mark 60 years of the Queen's reign. Beacon lighting takes place between 22:00 and 22:30BST in the UK and 22:00 in other countries. The Queen lights the UK's last beacon - the National Beacon - at about 22:30BST. Then there will be a firework display at Buckingham Palace.

Religious buildings are also being encouraged to light a church tower beacon to mark the occasion. Many communities are organising special events around their beacon lighting, with fireworks and music.

Tuesday 5 June - Service, carriage procession, balcony appearance

The final day of the Diamond Jubilee weekend will be marked by a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. There will be a special prayer for the Diamond Jubilee. This will be followed by two receptions, a lunch at Westminster Hall and a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, with a balcony appearance and a fly-past.

The Queen and other members of the royal family will attend the Service of Thanksgiving marking the Diamond Jubilee at St Paul's Cathedral in the morning. The service, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, will include a special prayer for the Diamond Jubilee. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be taken to a short reception at Mansion House while the rest of the congregation attends a reception at Guildhall.

From Mansion House, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will then travel to Westminster Hall for a Diamond Jubilee lunch hosted by the Livery . They will be joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. There are about 700 guests invited representing trades, crafts or professions linked to the different liveries taking part in the event, along with charities, schools and other related organisations. The National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain will perform a selection of music at the lunch.

The route from Westminster to Buckingham Palace will be lined with thousands of well-wishers as the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family travel in a formal carriage procession. Three carriages will leave New Palace Yard and process up Whitehall, to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down the Mall, through the Centre Gates at Buckingham Palace. The Queen and Prince Philip will be travelling in the 1902 State Landau, followed by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Personnel from the armed forces will line the procession route and the King's Troop will fire a 60-gun salute during the procession.

After arriving at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family will appear on the balcony and watch an RAF flypast. Then, in the forecourt, The Queen's Guard will perform a Feu de Joie - a cascade of rifle fire interspersed by the National Anthem.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the Mall, and ticket-holders will have prime viewing spots at the Queen Victoria memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

Route of the royal carriage procession

Weekend Jubilee festivals

Hyde Park Jubilee Family Festival - 2 June, 3 June

This two-day family festival organised by Sainsbury's is hosted by Myleene Klass and Jon Culshaw. It features live music and entertainment on the main stage and in zones such as the Kids Zone, the Disney Zone, the Parade Ground - featuring the White Helmet Motorcycle Display Team - and The Commonwealth, with Harambee African drummers and Maori Haka dancers.

Great British food - pies, roasts, pastries, fish and chips, jellied eels and cream teas - will be served. Traditional entertainers including Pearly Kings and Queens, marching bands, men on stilts and singing tea ladies will roam the festival. The headline live show is The Magic of Disney in Concert. The main stage also features performances from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, hosted by Craig Revel Horwood, and excerpts from War Horse.

Battersea Park Festival - Sunday 3 June

Some 90,000 ticket holders can see the pageant from the river bank or big screens in Battersea Park which is hosting a special festival. Curated by Hemingway Design, of Vintage Festival fame, and artist Clare Patey, the event celebrates all things British.

There will be 1950s swing orchestras, a George Formby tribute band and others on the bandstand, a traditional fun fair, competitions, games, storytelling and craft workshops, a tea garden staffed by members of the Women's Institute - with a record-breaking attempt for the tallest cake. An outdoor cinema screen will show Pathé footage from the coronation and significant royal events, and a car boot sale.