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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee - celebrations and events

Royal Jubilees

  • the first British monarch to mark 50 years on the throne in a significant way was George III
  • the only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897

Marking 60 years of The Queen's reign, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around an extended weekend on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June.

60 years of The Queen's reign

The Queen came to the throne on 6 February 1952 and her coronation took place on 2 June 1953. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.

The central weekend, 2-5 June

Communities all around the country will be celebrating over an extended bank holiday weekend, and there will be many ways to get involved in local events.

Saturday 2 June

Jubilee weekend in London

  • Plan your journey in advance, and allow plenty of time to get around
  • Don’t drive into London unless essential - many roads and bridges will be closed
  • Check the times of last trains, and leave early if you're concerned about getting home

Epsom Derby

On Saturday The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby.

For further information about the event, visit the Epsom Downs website.

Sunday 3 June

Big Jubilee Lunch

Up and down the country, neighbours will celebrate the Jubilee by taking part in the fourth annual Big Lunch.

With local councils receiving almost 9,500 road closure applications, this year's event promises to be the biggest and best ever - and there's still time to get involved.

Thames river pageant

The Queen will lead up to a thousand boats in one of the largest flotillas ever seen on the River Thames. The pageant will start at 2.00 pm, up-river from Battersea Bridge.

A number of viewing areas along the pageant route will be equipped with big screens. The viewing areas will be open from 8.00 am, but space will be limited. See the pageant website for locations of viewing areas, toilets and information on the Battersea Park festival.

Monday 4 June

Concert at Buckingham Palace

 Organised by the BBC and featuring some of the biggest name in music, the concert will be attended by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

The ballot for tickets has closed but the concert will be broadcast live from 7.30 pm on BBC One, Radio 2, and on big screens in Hyde Park, St James's Park and The Mall.

Jubilee beacons

From 10.00 pm, thousands of Jubilee beacons will be lit - culminating in The Queen lighting the national beacon at 10.30 pm.

See the beacons website for details of events near you.

Tuesday 5 June

Service of thanksgiving and carriage procession

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family will attend a national service of thanksgiving at St.Paul’s Cathedral. It will include a prayer written, at The Queen’s direction, by the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral in honour of the Diamond Jubilee. A ‘Diamond Choir’ of children from around the UK will sing a specially composed song.

Later in the day, the Royal Family will travel from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace by carriage, along a processional route. Shortly after their arrival, the Royal family will appear on the balcony and an RAF fly-past will take place.

Buckingham Palace has published full details of the processional route, and the events will be shown on big screens in Hyde Park, St James's Park and Trafalgar Square.

Related to this page

Official Diamond Jubilee website

View news, announcements, historical information and official images of The Queen released for the Diamond Jubilee. The site also features an interactive timeline, quizzes and puzzles - and you can send a congratulatory message to The Queen.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012

A new award has been launched to honour the efforts of charities and voluntary organisations that undertake projects at a national level this year, including groups which are supporting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Members of the public can nominate a voluntary group or organisation until midnight on 9 September.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

An official medal has been commissioned to mark the Jubilee. Those in the Armed Forces, emergency services and prison service personnel, are among those eligible to wear it.

Attending events in London: public transport, road closures and planning your day out

London will host a series of national events as part of the celebrations. The city will be very busy over the extended weekend, so if you’re attending any of the events it’s important to plan ahead:

  • plan your journey in advance and allow plenty of time to get around - buses, tubes and stations will be busier than usual
  • don't drive into central London unless it's absolutely essential - many roads and bridges will be closed
  • check the times of last trains, and plan to leave London early if you're concerned about getting home
  • drink plenty of water and bring sun cream (if it’s hot) or waterproofs (if there’s a chance of rain)
  • bring any medication you're taking

Use the Transport for London website to plan your journey, and for up-to-date travel news and information on road closures.

BBC big screens around the UK

Major events from the Jubilee central weekend will be shown on big screens around the UK.

Bank holiday

The late May bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4 June 2012 and an additional Jubilee bank holiday will take place on Tuesday 5 June 2012. The extra bank holiday and extended bank holiday weekend also applies to Scotland.

Find out more about your entitlement to paid leave on bank holidays.

School closures

Schools in England and Wales will be able to close on Tuesday 5 June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

If a school is already closed on 5 June for half term or another reason, it will be able to close on a different day.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will be making their own arrangements.

Other Jubilee events

The Queen’s address to Parliament

The Queen made a speech to Parliament on 20 March to mark her Diamond Jubilee. She also accepted the gift of a stained-glass window, which will be in Westminster Hall.

Regional and overseas visits to mark the Diamond Jubilee

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be visiting England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2012 to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.  

Other members of the Royal Family will also travel throughout the United Kingdom and overseas this year.  Further information is on the British Monarchy website.

Museums and galleries

The Royal Collection will hold exhibitions at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and elsewhere in the UK to mark the Diamond Jubilee. 

The National Maritime Museum opened 'Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames' in April 2012. It explores the relationship between the Queen, the City of London and the River Thames.

The National Portrait Gallery will stage ‘The Queen: Art and Image’, a touring exhibition of images of the Queen.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is holding an exhibition of portraits of The Queen by photographer Cecil Beaton, which will tour around the UK.


A new charitable Trust, 'The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust', has been launched. Members of the public are welcome to make contributions.

In November 2010 the Big Lottery Fund launched the Jubilee People’s Millions Competition. This will grant £3.6 million in award money to local community projects. The winning projects were announced in July 2011.

Environmental projects

The Jubilee Woods Project was launched by The Woodlands Trust in February 2011. It will create a 460-acre public wood in Leicestershire to celebrate the Jubilee and also aims to plant six million trees across the UK, creating hundreds of new woodlands. As part of this project, 60 ‘Diamond Woods’ of at least 60 acres each will be planted to mark each year of the Queen’s reign. The planting began in autumn 2011 and run to the end of 2012.

Fields in Trust has launched the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge to protect recreational spaces for the Diamond Jubilee. You can vote for your favourite outdoor recreational space to be protected and become a Queen Elizabeth II Field on the Fields in Trust website.

The Jubilee Greenway route extends 60 km through London, one for each year of The Queen’s reign. It will be a lasting memorial to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, just as the Jubilee Walkway was created for the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Digital projects

The Royal Commonwealth Society has organised a special Jubilee Time Capsule, a digital archive of The Queen’s reign. You can contribute to this by picking a day and adding your memories and stories of that day. You can use photos, words or videos and talk about anything you want.

Face Britain is a project created by The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts for children and young people aged 4-16 in the UK. You will be able to create a self-portrait and see it on public display as part of the celebrations.

Pinning The Queen’s History allows you to submit photos, videos and other memories of The Queen over the last 60 years to an online gallery to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

City status and Lord Mayoralty

As part of the celebrations, Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph have been awarded the right to call themselves a city and Armagh will from now on have a Lord Mayor. These will be granted by The Queen during Her Jubilee year.

In London, Greenwich has been granted Royal Borough status in recognition of the historically close links between Greenwich and the monarchy. Like city status, Lord Mayoralty or Lord Provostship, this is a purely symbolic award and brings no extra powers, functions or funding.  These awards are honours bestowed by The Queen only on rare occasions.

Illegitimate Use of the Diamond Jubilee name

It has come to the attention of the organisers of the Diamond Jubilee that some external parties have been illegitimately using the name of the Diamond Jubilee to publicise unofficial or fraudulent projects.

Publicity has been sent out using the names of government officials and referring to a ‘Diamond Jubilee Arts Contest’. This is not a genuine competition and appears to be an attempt to extort funds fraudulently from individuals. The ‘contest’ is not authorised by government or by Buckingham Palace and will be passed on for investigation by Action Fraud.

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