The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations: what to expect every day of the bank holiday

The festivities kick off on Thursday

The nation is gearing up for a jam-packed four-day royal extravaganza in honour of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. This week, people in the UK are enjoying an extended bank holiday weekend and there are plenty of festivities to look forward to.

RELATED: The Queen's Platinum Party at the Palace: epic line-up revealed including Elton John and David Beckham

Day one – Thursday 2 June

The jubilee celebrations begin with the Trooping the Colour military spectacle. More than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division will stage the display on Horse Guards Parade in central London, with the colour trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.

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WATCH: A timeline of events for this week's Jubilee celebrations

The royal family will travel from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to the parade ground in carriages, with the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal arriving on horseback.

At 1pm The Queen will reportedly take the salute from the balcony of Buckingham Palace rather than ride in a carriage during the procession as she normally does.

The parade commences at Buckingham Palace 

The Queen's great-grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and her two youngest grandchildren, the Wessexes’ children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, will all be present.

In the evening, more than 3,000 beacons will be set ablaze across the UK and the Commonwealth as a tribute to Her Majesty. Sites include the Tower of London, Windsor Great Park, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen's estates of Sandringham and Balmoral.

Day two – Friday 3 June

A traditional service of thanksgiving will be held by The Archbishop of York at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London.

There will be no ceremonial journey to the cathedral and the Queen, if she attends, will enter via a different entrance to avoid the steep main steps.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be attending the thanksgiving service

Harry, Meghan and Andrew, are expected to attend and the service will be followed by a Guildhall reception for members of the royal family.

 
 

Day three – Saturday 4 June

The Princess Royal is expected to represent the monarch at the Epson Derby, where up to 40 past and present jockeys who have ridden for the Queen are due to form a guard of honour.

Saturday also marks the first birthday of Harry and Meghan’s daughter, Lilibet. There is speculation that the young tot may celebrate her milestone birthday with her namesake great-grandmother.

Adam Kirby celebrates winning at Derby last year

In the evening, prepare to be dazzled by the BBC’s Party at the Palace which will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people. The star-studded line-up includes the likes of Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli and Duran Duran. The show will moreover feature appearances from Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews.

Day four – Sunday 5 June

Millions of people are expected to take part in street parties, picnics and barbecues with more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK.

As patron of the Big Lunch, Camilla will join Charles at a flagship feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex will meet people creating the “Long Table” down on The Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle.

The celebration also coincides with this year’s "Thank You Day" – originally set up to pay tribute to those who helped people through the pandemic. Celebrities Ross Kemp, Gareth Southgate, Prue Leith and Ellie Simmonds have urged people to throw the biggest thank you party for the Queen.

Preparations for the pageant are in full swing

To round off the weekend, The Jubilee Pageant will take to the streets of London in a spectacular £15 million procession. Stars including Idris Elba and Sir Cliff Richard are set to appear in open-top buses in a through-the-ages tribute to the culture and music of the Queen's 70-year reign. It is hoped the monarch will make a final appearance on the Palace balcony to witness Ed Sheeran singing the national anthem with a choir made up of nearly 200 celebrities.

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