The long Platinum Jubilee weekend has finally arrived! In just a few hours, the festivities will begin with Trooping the Colour in London. This weekend is going to be a little different from normal in terms of the content calendar here at The Court Jeweller. Instead of our regularly timed and scheduled posts, I’m going to be attempting to cover the events as they happen. Here’s a roundup of the Jubilee events that I’m planning to feature (and a little bit about how you can watch some of them live!).
JUNE 2: TROOPING THE COLOUR
In about four hours, Trooping the Colour will kick off in London. The military parade, a warm-weather annual celebration of the Queen’s birthday, will begin at Buckingham Palace and travel down the Mall to Horse Guards’ Parade. The colour will be trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards. The Queen will not take the salute this year; instead, the Duke of Cambridge, who is royal colonel of the Irish Guards, will take the salute alongside the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal. Other members of the family will ride in carriages during the procession, and we’re expected to see the Cambridge kids in one of them for the first time.
After the parade, members of the royal family will appear on the palace balcony for the RAF flypast. If we see the Queen during the event, it will likely be during this balcony appearance. After a quick salute from the guards regiment, she’ll be joined on the balcony by the working members of the royal family: the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra.
The event will be broadcast live today on the BBC and Sky in the UK, as well as in some other countries. For those who are in the US like me, ITN has a royal YouTube channel that promises a livestream of the event. I’ve also heard that ABC News may have some coverage. The parade will reportedly begin at 10 AM London time, and the RAF flypast is supposed to be scheduled for 1 PM.
JUNE 2: JUBILEE BEACON LIGHTING
This evening, a chain of beacons will be lit across the UK and the Commonwealth to celebrate the jubilee. Originally a form of communication, these beacon chains are now used to symbolize unity during major events. The principal beacon, called “The Tree of Trees,” has been constructed in front of Buckingham Palace. It is scheduled to be lit at 9 PM London time tonight. The Duke of Cambridge will represent the Queen at the main beacon lighting in London, while the Queen will take part in the event from Windsor Castle.
The BBC will air the beacon lighting in the UK and other countries abroad, and I’ve heard that ABC News will also cover some of this event in the US.
JUNE 3: SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING
Tomorrow, the royal family will gather at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for a special service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s 70-year reign. Great Paul, the recently-restored largest church bell in the country, will be rung for a royal event for the first time since the 1970s. This is one of the events that I expect the Queen will try very hard to attend, though her attendance won’t be confirmed ahead of time for any of the Jubilee celebrations.
I would bet that the service will be perhaps the largest gathering of members of the royal family during the Jubilee celebrations. The service will take place on Friday at 11:30 AM London time. The BBC will air the service on television. The ITN royal YouTube channel promises a livestream as well.
JUNE 4: EPSOM DERBY
The official royal website still includes this statement about Saturday’s Epsom Derby: “Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.” I’ve heard conflicting reports about the Queen’s planned attendance, but as far as I know, nothing else has been said by the palace at this point. Because she loves racing so much—and because one of her horses, Just Fine, will now be running in one of the races at the event—I’d imagine that she’s going to try very hard to attend.
JUNE 4: PLATINUM PARTY AT THE PALACE
On Saturday evening, a concert full of musical tributes and performances will be held outside Buckingham Palace in London. Headliners at the event will include Queen, Sir Rod Stewart, and Diana Ross. The show, scheduled to run for two and a half hours, will begin at 8 PM London time, with members of the royal family arriving 20-30 minutes earlier. It’s not clear which royals will be in London. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to watch the performances from Cardiff, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex will be in Northern Ireland on Saturday, and the Princess Royal will visit Scotland during the weekend’s festivities.
The concert will be aired across the networks of the BBC, and in America, a condensed version of the show will air on ABC on Saturday night at 8 PM Eastern. It will also stream the following day on Hulu in the US.
JUNE 5: PLATINUM JUBILEE PAGEANT
The Jubilee weekend will wrap up on Sunday with the Big Jubilee Lunches, held across the nation, followed by the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London. The pageant is designed to tell “the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign and our transforming society.” One of the planned highlights is an appearance of the Gold State Carriage. The Queen won’t be traveling in the carriage, but a “fabulous surprise” is promised. (A photo from the pageant rehearsal, included above, shows that the carriage has been equipped with digital screens.) The pageant will travel throughout the streets of Westminster, beginning at Whitehall and ending in front of Buckingham Palace.
The four-part pageant will include military tributes, a look back at life in Britain over the past seven decades, community celebrations, and a finale in front of the Victoria Memorial on the Mall. The pageant is scheduled to start at 2:30 PM London time, airing on the BBC. The ITN royal YouTube channel has a livestream scheduled for this event as well.
So, which jewels do we expect to see the Queen wear during her Platinum Jubilee appearances? Last week, I wrote an article for Veranda proposing brooches that we might see her wear for Trooping the Colour, the service of thanksgiving, and the Epsom Derby. (Spoiler: there’s a whole lot of platinum involved!) Which jewels are you hoping to see HM wear this weekend?