Diamond Jubilee Preparations and Festivities

This weekend, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will be in full force and we’re really looking forward to the festivities. Here is a roundup of the key events as well as some pictures we took of how things are shaping up in London…

Key Jubilee Events

On Saturday, June 2, the Queen will attend the Epsom Derby. While this isn’t an official Jubilee event, hopefully some more of her family will join her in some fantastic hats for us to gossip about.

Here’s a snapshot from last year’s Derby to tide us over for now:

On Sunday June 3rd, a procession of over 1,000 ships will glide down the river Thames, which apparently was an idea inspired by a Canaletto painting. The flotilla will begin at 2pm from Chelsea Pier and will culminate at Tower Bridge two hours later at 4pm.  The massive planning that must have been behind this is mind boggling…

The official website explains:

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant celebrates Her Majesty’s 60 years of service by magnificently bringing the Thames to life; making it joyously full with boats, resounding with clanging bells, tooting horns and sounding whistles; recalling both its royal heritage and its heyday as a working, bustling river.

You can read more on the official website by clicking here. In any event, the Queen will be joined on the Royal Barge by the most senior members of the Royal Family in terms of succession; the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. Other members of the family will be on other barges and the Middleton family has been included as well.

This photograph of the Queen in front of the brand new Royal Barge, which has appropriately been named Gloriana.

Another close up:

And here it is in action:

This will be a really interesting event to see unfold. Fingers crossed for good weather!

On Monday, June 4, the fun continues with a televised concert at Buckingham Palace attended by 10,000 members of the public. There will be a picnic before the concert begins at 7:30. Performers include Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney.

One of our Royal Posters is in London and took photos of the preparations underway front of the palace today.

That big star burst will be the roof of the stage that has been set up around the wedding cake (aka the memorial to Queen Victoria). Look closely to see the blue bleachers set up around it. The people who didn’t get tickets will be able to listen to the concert in nearby Hyde Park and St. James’ Park.

A close up of the roof! Again, fingers crossed for good weather….

On Tuesday, June 5th there will be a service of Thansgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral at 10:30am.

After the service, there will be a reception at Guildhall which will be attended by the Royal Family. There will then be a formal carriage procession down the Mall, and the Queen will again be joined by the most senior members of the Royal Family in terms of succession.

At 3:30 pm, the Queen, Duke of Edinbburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry will appear on the Buckingham Palace Balcony (whoohoo!) for the RAF fly past. Interesting that no other members of the family are listed – they really are trying to just focus on the line of succession, just as Prince Charles has been rumoured to be keen to do. We’re really looking forward to that – and it will be the third Buckingham Palace balcony appearance for Kate. Not too shabby!

Other Random Preparations

Our royal poster got this great snapshot of some guards practicing their march in St.James’ Park:

Gardeners in the park were hard at work constructing this massive plant crown thing. Gotta love that!


And we took a picture of it all finished as well – lovely!

UPDATE: We have some more info on this. The Royal Parks website explains:

In honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee The Royal Parks, London today installed a four metre tall floral crown in St. James’s Park. The crown, which took five weeks to construct and weighs approximately five tonnes, sparkles with the brilliant blooms of 13,500 plants in the colours of the precious stones in the crown The Queen wore on her coronation day. In the next couple of days our gardeners will be adding a plump red cushion of flowers as the final floral flourish

Click on the red letter to see our post on the Jubilee windows of Harrods department store. The Jubilee count down is on!!

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