Horses, Boats And A Big Lunch For The Jubilee

The Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee over a four-day Bank Holiday weekend exactly one year from today.

Marking 60 years on the throne, Her Majesty will begin the June celebrations by attending the Epsom Derby on Saturday, June 2 2012.

The Jubilee celebrations throughout the UK and across Commonwealth will culminate in a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral and a formal carriage procession by the Queen on Tuesday, June 5.

June 5 is a one-off extra Bank Holiday announced by the Government in January this year.

The programme of events, issued by the Press Secretary to the Queen, follows an announcement earlier this year that a 7.5 mile long Diamond Jubilee Thames river pageant consisting of up to 1,000 boats would be central to celebrations.

Vessels will include a mix of the historic and the modern, from rowed boats to steamers and larger motorised craft representing all parts of the Commonwealth.

Thousands of members of the public will be able to take part in the Sunday, June 3 pageant by boarding passenger boats taking part.

On the same day the Queen will encourage people across the country to take part in street parties or picnic lunches in small or large groups in what is being described as a "few hours of community, friendship and fun".

"The Big Lunch", an idea from the founders of the Eden Project, will aim to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours.

Since 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all communities with more than a million people taking part.

Bank Holiday Monday's events begin with a televised Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace featuring British and Commonwealth musicians.

Tickets will be made available to UK residents through a public ballot.

In the evening a network of beacons numbering 2,012 will be lit by communities and individuals across the country.

Among them will be church tower beacons on the battlements of the Tower of London and St James' Palace in London, The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, at Killyleagh Castle in Northern Ireland and on top of Pen Y Fan mountain in Wales.