Spending seven decades as the reigning Monarch of England is no small feat—and there’s only one person in history who knows exactly what that’s like. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 70 years on the throne this year, and as the longest serving British Monarch of all time, a party is in order.
Buckingham Palace will host a series of celebratory events to mark her Platinum Jubilee at the beginning of June—all revolved around a four day bank holiday weekend for UK residents.
From small local gatherings to large scale events involving the entire royal family (including a reunion between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and William and Kate), below, everything you need to know about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
More coverage from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
- Where To Watch All The Coverage From The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
- Meet The Impressive Headliners Performing At The Queen’s Platinum Party At The Palace
What is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?
The Platinum Jubilee is a celebration of the Queen’s 70 years of service as reigning Monarch.
The then 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth first ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6 1952. Just over a year later, the coronation of Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953.
In the decades since, the Queen has witnessed major world conflicts, the first humans on the moon, the invention of the internet, not to mention numerous scandals involving her own family.
Through it all, the Queen has remained dedicated to her job. Now aged 96, the royal is beginning to slow down, having cancelled some major events she usually frequents over the past few months. This milestone celebration will likely be her last jubilee.
What is the Queen doing for her Platinum Jubilee?
Between June 2 and June 5, numerous events will take place across the UK in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee—that includes a four day bank holiday weekend between Thursday and Sunday.
Trooping the Colour
The first major celebration to take place will be Trooping the Colour on Thursday, June 2. The event occurs every year (usually on the second Saturday of June), in celebration of the Queen’s birthday, and this year, the annual parade will include more than 1,000 soldiers, hundreds of horses and an RAF flyby over Buckingham Palace.
As usual, the royal family (including Kate Middleton and Prince William, Prince Charles and Camilla and more) will step out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the flyby—this is often the best opportunity to catch a glimpse of the royals together.
It’s also expected that Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will attend the event—among others throughout the weekend—though we may not see them, nor their two children Archie and Lilibet on the balcony—only working members of the royal family will appear there.
Later in the day, some 2,800 beacons will be lit across the UK and Commonwealth countries across the world to mark the beginning of the Jubilee celebrations. The first will be lit at Buckingham Palace by a senior member of the royal family.
Service of Thanksgiving and Epsom Downs Derby
On Friday, June 3, St Paul’s Cathedral will host a service of Thanksgiving dedicated to Her Majesty. Following this, the Royal Family will travel to Surrey where they will attend a Derby at Epsom Downs. Once again, this will be a prime opportunity for royal watching.
BBC Platinum Party at the Palace
On Friday evening, the royal glad rags are truly on. The BBC is set to host a full-blown concert at Buckingham Palace, called Party at the Palace. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event, headlined by the likes of Alicia Keyes, Diana Ross, Craig David, Queen + Adam Lambert, Hans Zimmer and more.
On Sunday, June 5, the Palace is inviting people across the UK to attend the Big Jubilee Lunch—hundreds of lunches organised by local communities hosted in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The Jubilee Pageant
The final event of the weekend ends with a literal bang. A Jubilee Pageant will be held throughout the streets of London. The event is expected to bring thousands of performers together—including a full-blown concert by Ed Sheeran. They’re really not doing things by halves.
The weekend will no doubt be a spectacle to watch unfold here in Australia, and it’s usually possible to watch a live stream of royal events including Trooping the Colour via Australian television—we’ll update you with more information as it becomes available here.