2 JUNE 2003
The Queen is marking the 50th anniversary of her coronation today with a children's party at Buckingham Palace. Some 500 youngsters were invited along to take tea with Her Majesty, and to spend some time on a specially erected bouncy castle. The children, who mostly come from underprivileged backgrounds, have been specially selected through the charities endeavouring to help them.
"I've been practising my curtsy, but it's very difficult to get it right," said nine-year-old Louisa Harrington, who suffers from a rare heart condition. She and the other children were looking forward to mingling with pop stars like Kym Marsh and Lisa Scott Lee, not to mention Prince William, who is also expected to attend.
The Queen will have a busy day, as she is also to renew her vows at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey, which will be attended by 1,000 members of the public and 16 other members of the Royal Family. Later on she opens a new section of the Jubilee Walkway in St James's Park and then Prince Charles will host a 1953-themed dinner at Clarence House.
And London residents can expect the celebrations to be rather noisy, as a 41-gun salute will be staged in Green Park, while a 62-gun salute is sounded from the Tower of London.