Watch: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee plans set with extra Bank Holiday
The UK is getting ready to enjoy a four-day weekend as the country celebrates 70 years since the Queen ascended to the throne.
The Platinum Jubilee officially started in February to coincide with when the Queen technically inherited the crown, but - as with all the previous jubilees - the celebrations will peak at the start of June to coincide with the anniversary of her coronation.
Read more: When is the Queen's Platinum Jubilee?
The Queen is the first British monarch to make it to a Platinum Jubilee, and is the longest-reigning British king or queen.
A full list of events have been planned for the weekend with Bris handed an extra day off to enjoy them.
When is the extra bank holiday?
There will be a four-day bank holiday weekend from 2-5 June.
One of these days off comes from moving the late May bank holiday from 30 May.
But, in exchange, 2 June will be a rare Thursday day off, and the government is giving everyone an extra bank holiday on Friday 3 June.
Thursday, 2 June
The first day will be an extravaganza as Trooping the Colour will return to its full form and be held earlier than usual to include it as part of the Platinum celebrations.
Trooping the Colour is usually held on the second Saturday in June as it marks the monarch's official birthday.
The Queen will instead gather her family on 2 June for the full procession down the Mall in London and at Horse Guards Parade, before watching a flypast by the RAF from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
It will be particularly special as the event was significantly scaled back to fit COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
Children are often seen on the balcony, with Prince Louis, the youngest Cambridge, making his debut before he was two-years-old.
It has been confirmed that Harry and Meghan will be taking part in some of the Jubilee celebrations but will not be on the balcony. Nor will Prince Andrew.
The Platinum Jubilee beacons will then be lit up and down the country and, for the first time, in the capital cities of Commonwealth nations.
This follows a tradition of beacons being lit for events like weddings, jubilees and coronations.
Friday, 3 June
As Brits hopefully bask in the June sun, the Queen will attend a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral.
The iconic cathedral is also where the 2012 Diamond Jubilee service was held for Her Majesty.
Special arrangements have been made to accommodate the Queen due to her recent mobility issues.
She will not be entering by the Great West Door, at the top of a flight of steps, but by another entrance.
A large number of members of the royal family are expected to attend the service on Friday 3 June, which may be the only occasion the Sussexes are seen at a jubilee event, if they attend, along with the disgraced Duke of York.
The service will see one of the country’s largest bells, the Great Paul, rung during the service, the first time it will have been heard at a royal occasion.
The 2012 service included a bidding, hymns, a reading by David Cameron, then prime minister, and a sermon given by then Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Prince Harry was there, as was Prince William and Kate, and Prince Charles and Camilla.
Saturday, 4 June
This could well be the Queen's favourite day of the jubilee weekend because, if she is able to, she will go to Epsom Down for the Derby.
A lover of horses and horse racing, the 2022 Derby will be part of the celebrations of her 70 years on the throne.
Phil White, who runs Epsom as London Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: "We are incredibly grateful for the support Her Majesty The Queen has given to the Derby over several decades.
"To be afforded this opportunity to celebrate the contribution she has made to horseracing, to British life and the Commonwealth, is a real honour for all of us at the Jockey Club.
"Planning for this very special occasion has already begun, even before we have staged this year’s Cazoo Derby Festival this weekend."
The Queen has previously had runners in the Epsom Derby, including Aureole just three days after her coronation on 6 June, 1953.
More recently, Carlton House carried the Queen’s colours to finish a close third behind French raider Pour Moi when favourite in 2011.
As the Queen still has a hand in the racing world, she might have a horse run over the weekend.
In 2012, during her Diamond Jubilee, there was a special coronation cup at Epsom, which she presented to the race winner.
That evening, there will be a party at Buckingham Palace, run and broadcast by the BBC, including "some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars".
Members of the public will be able to apply for tickets for the show.
Queen + Adam Lambert will open the BBC event with Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow, George Ezra and Diana Ross also set to perform.
Sunday, 5 June
On the final day there will be street parties and barbecues held up and down the country as the Big Lunch is co-opted for the milestone event.
The Big Lunch has encouraged communities to come together and get to know each other since 2009.
Buckingham Palace said: "In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community."
The neighbourhood celebrations could be anything from tea and cake to a street party.
The weekend will close with a pageant, featuring 5,000 people from across the UK and the Commonwealth, combining "street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume".
It will be held against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets.
The palace said it would "celebrate the service of Her Majesty’s reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country".
Thousands of military personnel will be involved as well as prominent dancers, artists and creatives.
The centrepiece will be a giant dragon puppet the size of a double-decker bus.
In 2012, a pageant was held on the River Thames but poor weather made the day something of a washout.
What else is happening?
Those who work in public service, including representatives of the Army, Navy and Air Force, will be awarded a Platinum Jubilee medal.
As well as the events around the central weekend, there will be a tree-planting initiative across the whole country, called the Queen's Green Canopy.
The palace hopes everyone "individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates" will plant a tree between October 2021 and the end of the 2022.
Prince Charles and the Queen planted the first one over the Easter weekend in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Charles is patron of the QGC.
MPs and members of the House of Lords will also pay for a gift for the Queen, in keeping with previous milestones.
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