How the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is being celebrated

Britain is gearing up to launch into celebrations to mark the Queen’s record-breaking 70 years of services to her country.

Buckingham Palace is unveiling plans for a series of national events and initiatives to celebrate the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne on 6 February 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. 

The Platinum Jubilee extravaganza will include parties and exhibitions at venues including the Queen’s private Sandringham and Balmoral estates. And the whole of the UK will get a chance to join in the fun during a one-off four-day bank holiday that kicks off on 2 June. 

Platinum Party at the Palace

One of the highlights of the many celebrations will take place on Saturday 4 June, when the BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace. “Some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars” will be brought together to celebrate “the most significant and joyous moments from the Queen’s seven-decade reign”, said the Royal Family’s official website.

UK residents will be able to apply for tickets to the event via a ballot, with more details to be released in February. Royal fans will also be able to watch the BBC concert live on a big screen in the Royal Parkland, on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

Big Jubilee Lunch

On Sunday 5 June, people across the country will be encouraged to get together “to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours” as part of the jubilee celebrations, said the royal website.

The Big Jubilee Lunch can be “big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque”, the site added.

According to The Sun, “thousands of communities” have expressed interest in taking part, and more than 1,400 had registered as of January.

The Big Jubilee Lunch is part of the annual Big Lunch, a project launched in 2009 to strength and celebrate community connections.

Platinum Jubilee Pageant

“Another big bash” is also planned for 5 June, when performers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers will team up at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant “to tell the story of the Queen’s reign”, said Harper’s Bazaar.

The London-based pageant will combine “pomp and ceremony, street arts, theatre, music, circus, costumes, as well as cutting-edge visual technology”, according to the Royals official website, and will “draw on talent from across the UK and the Commonwealth”. 

The event will include a River of Hope section featuring 200 silk flags that “will process down The Mall, appearing like a moving river”, the site added. The flags will feature pictures created by primary and secondary schoolchildren depicting their aspirations and hopes for the planet over the next seven decades.

Platinum Pudding Competition 

Cooking fans are being invited to create a pudding that “will be an important part of the celebrations”, said royal grocers Fortnum & Mason, which launched the competition on 10 January in collaboration with the Big Jubilee Lunch. 

Fortnum and Mason exterior

UK residents aged eight and over have until 4 February to submit recipes. Five finalists will then prepare their puddings for a judging panel including Bake Off’s Mary Berry, Masterchef’s Monica Galetti and Buckingham Palace’s head chef Mark Flanagan.

The winning pud will be “served up at street parties and other celebrations up and down the country”, said Fortnum & Mason, and the creator “will be invited to be at the centre of the celebrations”.

The Queen’s Green Canopy 

Thousands of trees are being planted in cities from Cornwall to Glasgow as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, a project encouraging communities to “plant a tree for the Jubilee”.

The Queen and Prince Charles pose after planting a tree

Every newly planted tree is being recorded on a digital Queen’s Green Canopy map that “will be presented to Her Majesty at the end of the Jubilee year”, according to the royal website. 

The project will run until March 2023 and also includes work to protect 70 ancient trees and woodlands “that are a valuable part of the UK’s heritage and history”, the site continued. 

A training programme is being launched too, to teach unemployed young people new skills in tree planting and management, and a new Young Foresters Award will “highlight the value of trees to school children”.