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The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated in 2022 in the Commonwealth of Nations to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.

In the United Kingdom, there was an extra bank holiday on 3 June, and the usual Spring bank holiday was moved from the end of May to 2 June, to create a four-day Jubilee bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June. It was the first time that any British monarch celebrated the 70th anniversary of their reign. Elizabeth II is the third-longest reigning verified sovereign monarch in history.

A colourful street pageant celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s life and highlighting Britain’s diversity paraded through central London on Sunday, the final day of a long holiday weekend honouring the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. The queen was not taking part in the pageant — however, a virtual version of her, drawn from archival video from her 1953 coronation, was shown in the carriage’s windows. Some 6,000 performers were parading along a three-kilometre route lined with a sea of Union flags, telling the story of the queen’s life with dance, vintage cars, vibrant costumes, carnival music and giant puppets. Some of Britain’s best-loved cultural exports were here, from the Daleks in Doctor Who to James Bond’s Aston Martins. Organisers said the pageant is expected to be watched by 1 billion people around the world. The couple has largely stayed out of the limelight during the Platinum Jubilee events.

Saturday, June 4

World-famous musicians regaled an audience in London on Saturday as they paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at a star-studded concert outside Buckingham Palace celebrating the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. There were 22,000 people in the audience at the giant stage set in front of the palace, which also used the Queen’s official London residence as a vast screen to project spectacular images of her reign, and graphics to accompany the musical acts. Rock band Queen and Adam Lambert kicked off the open-air show outside the palace, followed by sets from Duran Duran, Rod Stewart and opera singer Andrea Bocelli. There were performances to highlight the diversity of British talent from rap to pop music, dance, and musical theatre. The daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Lilibet, turned one on Saturday. The Queen met her great-granddaughter for the first time this week as Harry and Meghan returned to London for the Jubilee celebrations with their daughter and son Archie.

Friday, June 3

Kicking off the morning’s events at 10.50 am, the Great Paul, the largest church bell in the UK, rang for five minutes, followed by a longer peal of bells until 11:25 a.m. This came ahead of the traditional thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. The BBC reported that the Queen would be watching the event on television from Windsor. As a devout Christian, she was said to be disappointed to not be able to attend in person. In an unexpected turn of events, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was booed loudly by crowds that gathered outside the cathedral as he made his entrance. Other guests and dignitaries in attendance were Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with Prince Charles officially representing the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The couple were cheered by the crowd as they arrived for their first royal event together since leaving the UK two years ago. After the service, guests and dignitaries filed over to the sunny courtyard of London’s Guildhall, where they tucked into smoked Norfolk duck breast, smoked salmon, beetroot shortbread and clotted cream vanilla ice cream. Polling data released ahead of the Jubillee weekend by YouGov showed that 62 per cent of the UK population were in favour of the monarchy, 22 per cent wanted an elected head of state, and 16 per cent said they did not know.

After distant cannon shots around the commonwealth, celebrations began with the Queen’s birthday parade, known as Trooping the Colour.1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians took part in the 260-year-old march from Buckingham Palace down the Mall to the Horse Guards Parade, as thousands of royal fans donned in Union Jacks and Queen memorabilia cheered them on. Four-year-old Prince Loius did not appear to be a fan of the Royal Airforce flyover, which saw 70 aircraft thunder over The Mall. He covered his ears and made a shocked expression, prompting his great-grandmother to laugh. Fires were started by ‘beacon masters’ on hilltops, castle walls, country estates and farm fields, in a practice dating back to medieval times. Late on Thursday evening, Her Majesty announced that, while she had “greatly enjoyed” the first day of celebrations, she “did experience some discomfort” and would not attend Friday’s events.

Carolina São Marcos
STORYTELLME Junior Technician

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