In pictures: Queen's joy as Royal Family joins thousands celebrating Platinum Jubilee

After months of preparations amid a backdrop of national controversies and global issues, Britons can finally relax and celebrate during the double bank holiday for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Street parties will be taking place nationwide this weekend, along with the pomp and ceremony of the royal family's official engagements.

Events kicked off with Trooping the Colour and later on Thursday the ceremonial Lighting of the Beacons will take place across the UK and Commonwealth.

Other landmark events across the weekend include the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday, with performances from the likes Sir Elton John, Sir Rod Stewart, Queen and Duran Duran, as well as the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London on Sunday.

On Thursday, thousands lined the streets of The Mall - many decked out in red, white and blue Union flag fancy dress, for the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children were spotted taking part in their first carriage procession as celebrations marking the Queen’s 70-year reign began.

Cheers went up from thousands of spectators in The Mall as they caught sight of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with proud parent Kate and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The traditional carriage procession left Buckingham Palace ahead of Trooping the Colour, also known as the Birthday Parade, that marked the start of four days of festivities honouring the Queen’s 70-year reign.

The Royal Family then returned to the palace, where the Queen had already appeared on the balcony alongside the Duke of Kent to take the salute from the parading troops.

Senior royals all appeared on the balcony for the jubilee flypast, which featured aircraft spelling out the number '70' and concluded with a spectacular show from the Red Arrows.