On February 6, 2022, the Queen became the first British monarch in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Seven decades have passed since she acceded to the throne at the age of 25 following the death of her father, George VI. In the intervening years, she has advised 14 prime ministers, met 13 U.S. presidents and acted as a steadfast figurehead as the nation navigated countless crises. To mark this unprecedented milestone, events will be organized throughout the year, culminating in a four-day weekend in June.
Below, everything we know so far about the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
When will the Platinum Jubilee celebrations take place?
Although the anniversary itself fell on February 6, the celebrations are scheduled for the first week of June, with the hope that the summer will bring better weather (the Queen’s official birthday also usually falls on the second Saturday in June). Celebrations for her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden Jubilee in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee in 2012 all took place in the summer. For 2022, the main events are set to take place between Thursday, June 2 and Sunday, June 5.
Will there be a British bank holiday for the Platinum Jubilee?
Yes, there will be an additional one-off bank holiday in England for the Platinum Jubilee on June 3. The spring bank holiday which ordinarily falls in late May will also be moved to June 2, creating a four-day weekend.
How will the Platinum Jubilee be celebrated ahead of June 2?
Ahead of the celebratory long weekend, there will be public events and community activities to mark the occasion. Among them was the Platinum Pudding Competition, a nationwide baking contest that set out to find a brand new dessert dedicated to the Queen. Launched in collaboration with Fortnum & Mason, it invited UK residents to invent recipes that are delicious, visually stunning, suitable for home bakers and have a unique backstory. On May 12, the winner was revealed on the BBC TV special The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years in the Baking: Jemma Melvin, a copywriter from Southport, who created a lemon swiss roll and amaretti trifle. The recipe was also made available to the public so that the puddings can be eaten at street parties around the country and be enjoyed by generations to come.
Then there’s The Queen’s Green Canopy, an initiative which encourages people from across the UK to “plant a tree for the Jubilee.” In a press release earlier this year, the Palace confirmed that “over 60,000 trees have already been planted in the UK through the project in the two months since the planting season began.” Every single planting is being recorded on a digital map which will be presented to the Queen at the end of the year. The project is also working to protect 70 ancient woodlands, launching a tree planting training program for unemployed young people and establishing a Young Foresters Award to highlight the value of trees to school children.
There’s also the Platinum Jubilee Celebration: A Gallop Through History, a show that takes place in the grounds of Windsor Castle between 12 and 15 May. It sees more than 1,000 performers and 500 horses come together for a 90-minute tribute to the Queen, taking the audience from the days of Elizabeth I to the present. Among those participating are Adjoa Andoh, Damian Lewis, Tom Cruise, Alan Titchmarsh and Helen Mirren, with the latter taking on the part of the flame-haired Tudor queen. Tune in to watch the extravaganza live on ITV on May 15.
And what will happen between June 2 and June 5?
On Thursday June 2, the Queen’s birthday parade will take place—the usual trooping the colour with over 1,400 parading soldiers. Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the procession will move down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, joined by members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages. It will end with a RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Tickets are available for the public. Another tradition to look out for? The lighting of more than 1,500 beacons across the UK and the Commonwealth, with a principal beacon lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.