Watch: Why Britons will get an extra bank holiday in 2022
A party at the palace, a pageant and a day at the races are all on the cards for the Queen as she prepares to mark her 70th year on the throne.
Buckingham Palace has released the first details of plans for celebrations of her Platinum Jubilee, which will take place in 2022 in early June.
Britons will get an extra bank holiday and one of the May bank holidays will be moved to June for a four-day weekend with a range of celebrations.
The long weekend will kick off with the triumphant return of the full Queen's Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour, on 2 June.
The annual event was scaled down in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and is due to be scaled back in 2021 too, with a smaller event planned at Windsor Castle where the Queen has been living during the majority of the pandemic.
But the full parade will return in 2022, with the Royal Family joining the Queen on the Buckingham Palace balcony for a flypast by the RAF after the parade on the Mall and Horse Guards Parade.
After Trooping the Colour, beacons will be lit across the country, continuing a tradition for jubilees, weddings and coronations.
And for the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
On 3 June, the Queen will attend a service of thanksgiving for her reign.
On 4 June, the Queen will go to the Epsom Derby. Her Majesty is a huge fan of horse racing and regularly attends events like Epsom and Royal Ascot, so this will likely be a favourite part of the celebrations for her.
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.
On the final day of the bank holiday weekend, friends and neighbours will be encouraged to hold a Big Lunch to celebrate the milestone together. Anything from tea and cake to a street party could be held as people mark the moment in their neighbourhoods.
The celebrations will close with a pageant, featuring more than 5,000 people from across the UK and the Commonwealth around Buckingham Palace and its surrounding streets.
Buckingham Palace said of the pageant: "It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume and celebrate the service of Her Majesty’s reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country."
The palace also announced it will be launching a competition later this month for the design of the Jubilee emblem. The competition is being held in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and the Royal College of Art.
As well as all the celebrations over the four-day weekend, the palace and the government have announced a tree planting initiative that will be taking place across the UK.
The Queen and her son Prince Charles planted the first for the initiative during an Easter walk in the Windsor Castle grounds and shared the pictures later.
The plans were announced a year to the day before the first event, and 68 years since the Queen's coronation, which took place on 2 June, 1953.
She acceded to the throne on 6 February, 1952, when her father died while she was on tour in Kenya with Prince Philip.
The Queen is the first British monarch to make it to 70 years on the throne. Her previous jubilees have been celebrated with events like pageants and concerts, and with Royal Family members going on tours around the Commonwealth on her behalf.
Previous announcements about this jubilee included news that people who work in public service, including representatives of the Army, Navy and Air Force, will be awarded a Platinum Jubilee medal.
MPs and members of the House of Lords will also pay for a gift for the Queen, in keeping with previous milestones.
In 2012, MPs clubbed together and bought the Queen a stained-glass window that was unveiled in Westminster Hall.
In 2002 a sundial was put up near an entrance to the Lords to mark her Golden Jubilee.
In 1977, she was bought the Jubilee Fountain, which sits in New Palace Yard, for her Silver Jubilee.
Those celebrations were marked with Prince Philip by her side, but the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh means this will be a milestone she spends as a widow.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman previously said: “The platinum jubilee offers an opportunity for the Queen to express her thanks for the support and loyalty Her Majesty has received throughout her reign.
“The Queen hopes that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to join the celebrations.”
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