To say Britain is excited for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations is an understatement, with everything from giant street parties to special desserts lined up to help celebrate her special milestone.
The jubilee long weekend, which kicks off on Thursday, celebrates the Queen’s remarkable 70 years on the throne.
It promises all the pomp that Britain is known for – with the famous Trooping the Colour returning in its full glory for the first time in two years – and much more.
There’s a concert at Buckingham Palace (and everyone is invited) and street parties the length of the nation as Britain goes hard to celebrate its beloved Queen.
The 96-year-old monarch is expected to attend many events across the four-day weekend – although which one will depend on how she’s feeling on the day.
In a special message on the eve of her historic milestone the Queen said “many happy memories” would be formed during the festivities.
And she spoke of looking to the future with “confidence and enthusiasm”.
“Thank you to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbours and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee, in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth,” she said.
“I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions.
“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
It was signed Elizabeth R.
The Queen has battled mobility issues for several months, prompting her to withdraw from some public engagements and send her children and grandchildren in her place.
She was last seen at the Chelsea Flower Show – conveyed past the show gardens on a smart electric scooter.
But the only British monarch to celebrate a reign of 70 years is determined to join her nation in marking her milestone.
We have seen more of her in public lately than in the past several months, and the people of Britain couldn’t be more delighted.
On top of the official celebrations, citizens are going all out to mark the occasion – with everything from a giant cake of the monarch to crochet crowns.
Ten years ago, for the Queen’s diamond jubilee, an estimated 1.2 million people crowded central London to mark the occasion.
As part of the affair, the legendary guitarist from Queen (the band, not the royal), Brian May, performed the national anthem on the roof of Buckingham Palace. Because why not?
May will turn out again this weekend, eager to top his previous performance. Exactly how he will do that remains to be seen.
Away from the palace roof, everyday people are busy preparing for festive street parties and picnics.
The official Platinum Jubilee website even has an interactive map where hosts can publicly share events. More than 3000 street parties or private events have been listed.
Street parties are, quite literally, parties hosted in the streets. There will be widespread road closures across Britain’s towns and villages to avoid accidents and allow partygoers to plan.
Then there are the weird and wonderful ways people are celebrating the milestone.
Take Lara Mason, for example, who was asked to bake a life-sized cake of the Queen in five days.
And she did!
What does it take to make a life-sized, 1.6-metre cake of the Queen, you ask? Four hundred eggs, 20 kilograms of flour, 20 kilograms of butter and sheer will.
And from one life-sized Queen creation to another.
Holmes Chapel Community Yarn Bombers, a knitting group, created a life-sized woollen Queen, complete with pet corgi.
Group leader Anita Armitt told the BBC the model was “in my dining room in various stages of dress” for almost a year before being presented.
Thirty four women, aged 10 to 80, got together to create the village’s decorations for the weekend.
Not to be outdone, a miniature display of the royal family was unveiled at Legoland Windsor on Tuesday.
It features a Lego replica of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their three children.
Legoland Windsor’s talented model makers spent about 282 hours building the display, using more than 18,000 individual bricks.
The display features several scenes, including a flyover.
The Red Arrows, otherwise known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, were built by one model maker over 33 hours. They are depicted flying down the iconic The Mall road towards Buckingham Palace.
The planes even have a smoke effect.
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Not everything had to be giant, or boast smoke effects.
In villages across the country, dedicated crocheters and knitters have topped post boxes with crowns and royal dolls.
And then there are the super, super fans who, according to the popular Capital London radio station, are already camping out along The Mall.
Now that’s dedication.
What do we know about the Platinum Jubilee weekend?
The official celebrations will begin on June 2 – day one of the four-day long weekend for the Brits – with the Queen’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour.
For almost 300 years, the ceremony has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign.
More than 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together for the event.
Beginning at Buckingham Palace, they will move down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, joined by members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages.
According to The Sunday Times, Elizabeth won’t receive the Trooping the Colour salute for the first time in 70 years.
Instead, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles will step in for the first time, accompanied by his son Prince William, and sister Princess Anne.
The Queen is expected to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the traditional RAF flyover, which will close out the parade.
She will be joined by working members of the royal family, so don’t expect Prince Andrew, nor Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
On June 3, there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
There are reports the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend the service, which is not open to the public.
The Epsom Derby will be run on June 4. However, this is one former annual favourite the Queen is likely to skip – keen to “pace herself” over the weekend, according to The Sunday Times.
Instead, there are whispers she will finally meet Prince Harry and Meghan’s daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
Lilibet turns one on June 4.
Her birthday is likely to be celebrated at Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan’s official British residence. It is close to Windsor Castle, where the Queen now lives.
The Platinum Party at the Palace will also happen on June 4. The flamboyant concert in front of Buckingham Palace promises appearances from more than 30 musicians, plus icons from the sporting world, stage and screen.
Expect Queen and Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Andrea Bocelli, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Diana Ross.
There’s more to the Platinum Party though. Read all about it here.
And on June 5, the final day of the weekend, the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will happen.
Open to the public, it will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume to celebrate the Queen.
Organisers have, of course, enlisted big names to round out the weekend, including Ed Sheeran. He will reportedly sing his hit Perfect.
The romantic ballad will be a tribute to the Queen and her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died last year. Images of the couple will reportedly be shown during the performance.
In Australia, royal watchers can catch coverage of the platinum jubilee weekend on Seven. It begins with Trooping the Colour on June 2 at 8.30pm AEST on 7two.
And while we may be far away from the action, buildings across Australia will light up in tribute to the monarch.
From dusk between June 2 and 5, landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Parliament House and Brisbane’s Victoria Bridge will light up in purple – the colour of royalty.