Buckingham Palace has announced a four-day public holiday in the United Kingdom featuring parades, a major concert, and even a baking competition.
When you have spent more years on the throne than any other British monarch, it’s only fitting that the achievement is marked with more than just one celebration—which is why Buckingham Palace has announced a long list of commemorative events and initiatives for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee this June. Her Majesty’s 70 years of service to Britain and the Commonwealth will be recognized over a special four-day public holiday weekend starting June 2.
In a new operational note shared with BAZAAR.com, the official jubilee diary reveals a number of major events honoring the 95-year-old, including a Platinum Party at the Palace concert featuring celebrities and performers from across the Commonwealth coming together to “celebrate some of the most significant moments from the Queen’s reign.” The June 4 Buckingham Palace spectacular will even be open to the public—provided guests win one of the thousands of tickets being made available through a special ballot launching in February.
The following day, June 5, will see another big bash take place, with the official Platinum Jubilee Pageant on the streets of London, featuring performances, dancers, and even British military coming together to tell the story of the queen’s reign using “pomp and ceremony, street arts, theater, music, circus, costumes as well as cutting-edge visual technology,” the statement reads. Schoolchildren from across the country are also being encouraged to help create two hundred silk flags to parade down London’s The Mall “like a moving river” featuring messages for the future about climate change.
Although there is no official list yet, all members of the royal family are expected to be taking part in jubilee activities, including Prince William and Duchess Kate, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie, and many more. Even Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are rumored to be traveling across the pond for the occasion, depending on COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
“The [public] holiday will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson says. “The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on the queen’s 70 years of service.”
Only time will tell if any family members take part in the nationwide baking competition being launched to dedicate a brand-new dessert to the queen. U.K. residents over the age of eight are being encouraged to create the “perfect Platinum Pudding recipe” for The Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry; Buckingham Palace’s head chef, Mark Flanagan; and New Zealand chef Monica Galetti to judge. The winning dish will be served at Big Jubilee Lunches during the jubilee weekend and, the palace hopes, will become a new British favorite for generations to come.
Celebrations will continue beyond the holiday weekend too. Special exhibitions marking significant occasions in the queen’s reign are being staged at royal residences from July. The personal jewelry she’s worn for official portraits from the 1950s will go on show at Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms, her official 1953 coronation dress will be displayed at Windsor Castle, and outfits from her extensive royal wardrobe will be available to view at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
Though jubilee events will be taking place this summer, February 6 is the official date of the queen’s 70th year on the throne. The Queen’s Green Canopy was one of the first jubilee initiatives to be launched last year. More than 60,000 trees have already been planted across Britain, and they will continue to be planted up until March 2023. As well as marking the occasion, it is hoped that the saplings—which are being recorded on a digital map—will eventually become forests and urban green areas for future generations to enjoy.
Other noteworthy events announced today include a Service of Thanksgiving for the queen’s reign at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and her official birthday parade on June 2, Trooping the Colour. As is tradition, a military parade will take place just steps away from Buckingham Palace, where the event will see the queen and family members gather on its famous balcony to watch a Royal Air Force flyover.
Last week, the Royal Mint unveiled new coins commemorating the Platinum Jubilee featuring the monarch’s insignia, the number of years being celebrated, and an image of the queen riding on horseback.