Bank holiday weekends are such a treat but they always fly by too quickly, don’t you think? That won’t be the case this year though, as the nation is getting an extra long bank holiday weekend to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
Later this year, Queen Elizabeth II will make history once again by becoming the first British monarch to reign for 70 years. Her Majesty became the longest reigning monarch in 2015, when she surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
On 2 June 2021, Buckingham Palace announced news of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations, which will see the bank holiday extended by one day. So, the long weekend will begin on Thursday 2 June 2022.
Royal Communications announced that the Queen’s 70 years of service will be marked with ‘year-long platinum jubilee celebrations throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world as communities and people come together to celebrate The Queen’s historic reign.’
The Queen, 95, and other royal family members will ‘travel around the country’ throughout the year to celebrate with the nation, but the real festivities will take place over the extended bank holiday weekend.
The long weekend will offer ‘an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone. 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,’ reads the royal family website.
This is what we can expect from our long weekend next year…
The Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations
Thursday 2 June
The Queen’s Birthday Parade, aka Trooping the Colour, will take place on the first day of the bank holiday. Over 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional parade to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday. The Trooping the Colour parade will break from tradition in 2022, as it is usually held on the second Saturday in June.
The parade will begin at Buckingham Palace and move down The Mall. Members of the royal family will join the march on horseback and in carriages. And finally, for that Buckingham Palace balcony picture we know and love, the parade will end with the RAF fly-past and it’ll be watched by the Queen and other members of her family.
Tickets to attend the parade will be available via public ballot from qbp.army.mod.uk.
Beacons will be lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories. For the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries.
Friday 3 June
A service of thanksgiving for The Queen’s long reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Saturday 4 June
Her Majesty will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs, alongside members of the royal family. Then, a ‘Platinum Party’ will take place at Buckingham Palace. The BBC will stage and broadcast a live concert from the palace that will see some of the world’s biggest stars come together to celebrate the most significant moments from the Queen’s 70-year reign.
Time to get the bunting out! People are ‘invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours’ as part of the platinum jubilee celebrations. ‘The Big Jubilee Lunch’ can be as big or small as you wish and consists of a street party or picnic, tea and cake, or a garden barbecue. Basically, any excuse to get together and have fun.
To make the day even more exciting, a once-in-a-lifetime pageant featuring over 6,000 people from across the UK and the Commonwealth, including military personnel, performers, key workers and volunteers, will take place outside Buckingham Palace and in the surrounding streets. Telling the story of the last seven decades, expect street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costumes celebrating the Queen’s service, as well as honouring the collective service of people across the country.
But wait, there’s more! There’s a Jubilee emblem competition in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum and the Royal College of Art. The winning entry will become the official emblem for the jubilee this year. Plus, Fortnum & Mason has launched a pudding competition, whereby the winning recipe will be baked for The Big Jubilee Lunch.
A ‘River of Hope’ section of the weekend will comprise of 200 silk flags moving like a river, consisting of children’s hopes for the planet which will be carried by secondary school pupils.
There will also be events for the public throughout the year, including the Queen’s Green Canopy. Green-fingered communities are encouraged to plant trees in celebration of the Queen’s reign. The initiative will also work to protect 70 valuable ancient trees and woodlands, as well as launching a training programme to teach unemployed young people tree-planting.
From July, three displays marking the Queen’s Accession, Coronation and Jubilees will be staged at the official royal residences. Portraits of Her Majesty and items from her personal jewellery will be on display at Buckingham Palace, the Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate at Windsor Castle, and outfits worn by the Queen for her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees will be displayed at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Whether you’re a royal fan or just looking forward to a bank holiday, let’s keep our fingers crossed for good weather to enjoy the four-day weekend.