Queen's Platinum Jubilee: Royal Family attends Trooping the Colour

Royals assemble alongside Queen on Buckingham Palace balcony WITHOUT Meghan and Harry to watch Platinum Jubilee flypast – as delighted, waving Prince Louis chatters animatedly to his beloved ‘Gan Gan’

  • Queen’s Birthday Parade at Horse Guards in London is first official Jubilee event of bank holiday weekend
  • Royal fans from around world are stood along The Mall at start of weekend giving £2bn boost to hospitality
  • Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to bring Archie and Lilibet along to celebrations in London today 
  • Queen to light Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon at Windsor later in ‘dual ceremony’ with Buckingham Palace
  • ** Follow MailOnline’s liveblog on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations today by clicking here ** 

The Queen was joined by members of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony today in front of tens of thousands of cheering Britons as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking her 70-year reign got underway.

The 96-year-old monarch, who wore her Guards brooch and the blue Angela Kelly outfit used in her official Platinum Jubilee portrait, exclaimed ‘incredible!’ when she took the salute after arriving from Windsor Castle.

The Queen then returned to the balcony around half an hour later to watch the RAF flypast featuring the Red Arrows along with senior royals including Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William and Kate and their children.

While Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all appeared, there was no place on the Palace balcony for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle or Prince Andrew given that none of them are no longer working royals. 

Meghan did however join in the celebrations when she was seen putting her finger to her lips next to Mia Tindall and Savannah Phillips from a balcony at Horse Guards Parade in an apparent attempt to quieten the children. She was also seen speaking with Harry and the Duke of Kent, who joined the Queen for her first trip to the balcony. 

On the second trip, Charles stood on the Queen’s right-hand side and the pair could be seen chatting and smiling. Huge cheers of ‘hooray’ erupted outside and as aircraft the approached, the Queen could be seen looking ahead and smiling. Meanwhile, Louis waved towards the sky and could also be seen resting his chin in his hands.

The Queen could also be seen interacting with Louis, who was standing next to her on the balcony. And the young prince was photographed holding his hands over his ears as the aircraft soared overhead. The monarch smiled throughout the flypast and waved at the crowds before going back into the palace.

When the Queen made her appearance on the balcony there was a delayed reaction from the crowds in The Mall and spectators sat in the stands built for tomorrow’s Party at the Palace. A cheer went up when they spotted her on screens and she smiled as the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment passed the gates of Buckingham Palace. he troopers took around five minutes to ride past and she could be seen chatting to her cousin the Duke of Kent.

Other Royal Family members had started off the Trooping the Colour festivities earlier today – with the Duchess of Cambridge and her three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis waving for excited crowds.

Three carriages left the forecourt of Buckingham Palace carrying members of the Royal Family down The Mall this morning, with the Duchess of Cornwall riding alongside Kate Middleton and her children in the first carriage.

George, eight, Charlotte, seven, and three-year-old Louis smiled and waved enthusiastically as they sat in a row in the carriage, known as a barouche, with Louis the youngest in the middle of his older siblings. 

They were followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex with children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn; then the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence in the third carriage.

The nation is embracing the special extended four-day bank holiday weekend of pomp, pageantry and star-studded festivities, which will see celebrities and the public gather in their millions in tribute to the monarch. 

Louis sat between his older siblings George and Charlotte in their carriage today, with Kate and Camilla sat opposite. The children, dressed in a light blue, navy and white colour scheme, waved to the crowds – and at one point Charlotte appeared to push Louis’s hand down, while the Princess squinted in the sun as the carriage left.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne rode on horses during the traditional carriage procession which left the palace ahead of Trooping the Colour, also known as the Birthday Parade, at the start of the celebrations.

As Kate, Camilla and the children left in their carriage, a riding groom had an issue with her horse which refused to move. The carriage had to swerve to avoid the animal which was eventually persuaded to join the procession.

The Cambridge children bowed their heads when the national anthem was played on their arrival into Horse Guards Parade. George was dressed in a navy suit, white shirt and blue tie for the occasion, while Louis was wearing a sailor-style white and navy top echoing an outfit worn by his father at the 1985 Trooping event.

Charlotte’s hair was down, dressed up with two fine plaits fastened with a blue ribbon, and she wore a cornflower dress. She peered out of the central window at Horse Guards Parade as Louis pointed out towards the ceremony.

They arrived at Horse Guards Parade alongside their mother and grandmother in a carriage. The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a white coat dress by Alexander McQueen and a hat by Philip Treacy. Riding horses were the Prince of Wales on George, the Duke of Cambridge on Derby and the Princess Royal on Sir John.

The Prince of Wales went ahead of the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal as they rode diagonally across the forecourt and under the arches of Horse Guards. Charles wore his scarlet Colonel of the Welsh Guards uniform and green thistle sash riding a horse named George. William rode on Derby in his Irish Guards uniform and Anne on a horse named Sir John in her Colonel of the Blues and Royals uniform as part of the colourful parade.

It comes as Prince Harry and Meghan join senior royals at an official engagement for the first time in more than two years. The Sussexes are also set to bring along three-year-old Archie and Lilibet, nearly one, for the public family reunion – and the children are likely to meet their cousins George, Charlotte and Louis at last.

Lilibet has never been introduced to her royal relatives, while Archie has not been in the UK since he was six months old. But there is no invitation for shamed Prince Andrew even in a private capacity after his fall from grace.

The Queen was joined by members of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony today in front of cheering Britons

Prince Louis puts his hands on his ears during the flypast at Buckingham Palace today, having earlier waved towards the sky

Crowds of people line The Mall as they watch members of the Royal Family appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony today

Fighter jets from Britain’s RAF fly in formation to form the number ’70’ during a special flypast over Buckingham Palace today

Fighter jets from Britain’s RAF fly in formation to form the number ’70’ during a special flypast over Buckingham Palace today

The Queen’s Birthday Parade at Horse Guards in London is the first official Platinum Jubilee event of the bank holiday weekend, with Her Majesty set to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the RAF flypast at 1pm.

Thousands of people draped in Union Jack flags, party hats and plastic tiaras lined The Mall in the warm sunshine today. Some of those at the front brought camping chairs, having arrived over the past few days to get the best spot, and spirits were high as members of the public chatted and joked with police maintaining the perimeter. 

However, police then swooped on four intruders tried to smash through security on The Mall. Two of the protesters – who were from Animal Rebellion – were able to sit in the middle of the road as the marching band approached. Officers hauled them out of the way as the musicians walked by them, avoiding them completely.

The Irish Guards were among the first to arrive at a march at Horse Guards Parade this morning in front of the sitting crowds in the bright sunshine, led by their mascot, an Irish Wolfhound called Seamus. And as huge crowds descended on the capital to witness the historic weekend, police and park authorities said the areas were full.

The Metropolitan Police said: ‘The viewing areas in central London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are now full. To avoid the disappointment of not being able to enter the viewing areas please avoid the area.’

The Queen smiles as members of the Royal Family attend Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon

The Queen appears on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon with the Duke of Kent


The Queen points at the display from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon

The Queen appears on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon as the Duke of Kent salutes

Prince Louis salutes as he watches Trooping the Colour with Princess Charlotte on a balcony at Horse Guards Parade today

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis watch Trooping the Colour in London this afternoon

Cheers go up from thousands of spectators in The Mall in London as they catch sight of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with proud parent Kate and the Duchess of Cornwall during Trooping the Colour this morning

Meghan Markle puts her finger to her lips next to Savannah Phillips and Mia Tindall at Horse Guards Parade in London today

Meghan Markle is seen with Savannah Phillips and Mia Tindall at Horse Guards Parade in London this afternoon

Prince Harry speaks to the Duke of Kent with Meghan Markle as they attend Trooping The Colour in London this afternoon

Members of the Household Division Foot Guards’ bands march past Buckingham Palace during the Birthday Parade today

Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Princess Beatrice and Prince Louis watch Trooping the Colour from a balcony today

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte wave to the crowds during Trooping the Colour in London this morning

The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Savannah Phillips watch Trooping the Colour ceremony today

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte are part of the procession during Trooping the Colour in London today

Royal fans cheer near Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Prince George (left), Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte bow their heads as they receive a salute in London today

The Duchess of Cornwall rides alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and all three of her children in the first carriage today


Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour during the Platinum Jubilee today

The Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis ride in a carriage today

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne on horseback for Trooping The Colour in London this morning

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte are part of the procession during Trooping the Colour in London today

Soldiers taking part in the parade along The Mall ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade today

Crowds on The Mall ahead the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

Princess Anne, Princess Royal rides horseback during the Trooping the Colour parade in London this morning

People attend celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee along The Mall in London this morning

Prince George sits opposite the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge during Trooping the Colour in London today

Princess Charlotte rides in a carriage with her siblings during the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Colour, today

Crowds on The Mall ahead the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

People take videos during the Trooping the Colour parade in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this morning

The Duchess of Cambridge waves to the public as she arrives on a carriage to attend the Queen’s Birthday Parade today

Prince Charles and Prince William ride on horseback during the Trooping the Colour parade in London today

The Duchess of Cornwall rides alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and all three of her children in the first carriage today

The Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn in London this morning

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence is in the third carriage during the royal procession for Trooping the Colour this morning

And the Royal Parks added: ‘Crowds have flocked to St James’s Park for Trooping the Colour and public viewing areas are now at full capacity. Please do not head to St James’s Park but enjoy the Jubilee celebrations elsewhere.’

Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a tweet on their official account this morning: ‘We’re looking forward to celebrating and seeing how you’re joining us in marking this #PlatinumJubilee weekend.’

As four days of bank holiday celebrations begin, it can be revealed:

  • The Queen will make a surprise appearance at Windsor Castle tonight, lighting the Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon in a special ‘dual ceremony’ with Buckingham Palace;
  • While an olive branch has been extended to the Sussexes, there is further shame for Prince Andrew who is the only family member not to attend Trooping the Colour;
  • Celebrities have taken a back seat in the Birthday Honours, which this year salute Britain’s Platinum Jubilee heroes, reflecting the Queen’s own values of long-standing public service;
  • Famous names who have been listed, such as actor Damian Lewis, footballer Rio Ferdinand and author Ian Rankin, have received gongs noting their charity work;
  • Royal fans from around the world have gathered along The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace for a bonanza long weekend which will give the hospitality industry a £2billion boost;
  • Those attending Trooping the Colour are set to enjoy sunny skies, with highs of 20C (68F).

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been invited by the Queen to join family members watching the spectacular military event from the Major General’s Office overlooking the Whitehall parade ground.

The Duke of Cambridge takes part in the Royal Procession as he leaves Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour today

Royal fans cheer near Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in his role as Colonel of the Irish Guards, salutes from his horse in London today

Crowds gathered in front of the Houses of Parliament at Parliament Square today as the Jubilee celebrations continue

The Duchess of Cornwall rides alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and all three of her children in the first carriage today

Boris Johnson with his wife Carrie Johnson attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

People attend celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee along The Mall in London this morning

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three children George, Louis and Charlotte wave from the first carriage today

The Duchess of Cambridge waves to the public as she arrives on a carriage to attend the Queen’s Birthday Parade today

The Duchess of Cambridge could be seen watching Trooping from the Duke of Wellington’s former office this morning

The 105th Regiment Royal Artillery, The Scottish and Ulster Gunners during the Royal Gun Salute at Edinburgh Castle today

The first carriage was followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their son James, Viscount Severn this morning

Crowds on The Mall ahead the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

Members of the Household Division Foot Guards march past Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Birthday Parade today

Members of Band of the Household Cavalry march back along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace today

Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, during the parade today

The Queen’s Guards march during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

The Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn in London this morning

Members of the Household Division Foot Guards march past Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Birthday Parade today

The Earl and Countess of Wessex ride in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour procession in London today

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester at Trooping The Colour in London this morning

Members of Band of the Household Cavalry ride back along The Mall towards Buckingham Palace this afternoon

The Kings Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery ride down The Mall on their way to fire the ceremonial gun in London today

Prince Charles, in his role as Colonel of the Welsh Guards, rides his horse along The Mall during the Birthday Parade today

Members of the Household Division Foot Guards’ bands march back along The Mall towards Buckingham Palace today

The Earl and Countess of Wessex ride in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour procession in London today

Members of Band of the Household Cavalry take part in the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Colour, today

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester at Trooping The Colour in London this morning

Members of the Household Division Foot Guards’ bands march past Buckingham Palace today

The Queen leaves Windsor Castle with her lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey this morning to head to Buckingham Palace

The Queen leaves her residence of Windsor Castle this morning for the Trooping of the Colour flypast in London later on

The Queen leaves Windsor Castle in Berkshire with her lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey to head to London this morning

The room – once used by the Duke of Wellington – spreads out over the entrance to Horse Guards. It is where dignitaries traditionally watch from if they are not involved in the parade proceedings.

The group will not include the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge or the Princess Royal.

All you need to know about Trooping the Colour in London today 

The four-day Jubilee celebration kicks off with the lavish Queen’s Birthday Parade today. Here is the schedule:

  • Starting at 10am at Buckingham Palace, it snakes down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, with members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages joining at around 10.30am.
  • Event turns into traditional Trooping the Colour which has marked the monarch’s official birthday for 260 years.
  • The colour is being trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards – Prince William is Colonel of the Regiment – with up to 1,450 officers and soldiers from the Household Division putting on an extravagant display of military pageantry, together with 400 Army musicians and around 240 horses.
  • Royal Gun Salute. 12.52am: 82 rounds in Hyde Park. 1pm: 124 rounds at the Tower of London.
  • After parade, royals flank the Queen on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch a special 70-aircraft RAF flypast. Prince Andrew and the Sussexes are not invited to the line-up, which comprises: The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children, The Princess Royal and Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. 

WHERE TO WATCH

Public can watch spectacle from The Mall – lined with 200 soldiers from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards – or on large screens in nearby St James’s Park, Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh or Bute Park in Cardiff.

Her Majesty will remain at Buckingham Palace where she will take the returning cavalry’s salute from the balcony there.

Charles will be taking the salute as the Colour of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards is trooped and inspect the Troops of the Household Division on the monarch’s behalf.

He will be joined by his elder son and sister, with all three on horseback.

The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and many other royals will travel to Horse Guards Parade from the palace in carriages.

They will then disembark and watch the rest of the event from the Major General’s Office alongside Harry and Meghan, who will arrive by car.

The large royal party will also include all grandchildren of the Queen and their spouses. 

As well as the Sussexes there will be Princess Beatrice and her husband Edo, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack and Anne’s children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, and their families. 

Meghan will not have seen any of the family since she and her husband acrimoniously quit as working royals and moved to North America in early 2020, while the prince only saw them very briefly at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year.

The last public occasion the Sussexes attended together in the UK was the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020 when the atmosphere could not have been more awkward. 

William and Kate virtually blanked Harry and Meghan that day, leaving Prince Edward and Sophie to try to keep the peace.

Fortunately William, who has been most deeply affected by his brother’s actions and has struggled to hide his hurt, will not be forced to greet the couple in public. 

And Kate proved to be an admirable peacemaker when she made a point of breaking the ice and speaking to Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Harry and Meghan are staying with their children at their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage.

They had always been expected to join the congregation for tomorrow’s service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s 70-year reign at St Paul’s Cathedral, but their participation with Trooping is seen as an additional olive branch from Her Majesty.

Prince William and Princess Anne during Trooping The Colour in London this morning

Crowds watch the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

More than 1,400 soldiers and 250 horses from the British Army’s Household Division are taking part in the event today

Guards take position on The Mall, during celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in London this morning

Crowds watch the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

Soldiers taking part in the parade along The Mall ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade today

Britain’s Prince Charles and Prince William ride on horseback during the Trooping the Colour parade in London today

Large crowds of revellers gather at Trafalgar Square and sit on top of an Underground sign at Charing Cross this morning

Brigade major James Shaw (centre, top) leads members of the Household Cavalry to Horse Guards Parade this morning

Prince Charles takes part in the Trooping the Colour ceremony in Central London this morning

The first carriage was followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children this morning

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives in a car at Buckingham Palace in London this morning for Trooping the Colour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in a car at Buckingham Palace in London this morning for Trooping the Colour

Brigade major James Shaw (centre, top) leads members of the Household Cavalry to Horse Guards Parade this morning

Reservists from 104Rgt perform a Royal Gun salute at Roald Dahl Plass in Cardiff today


Royal fans gather on The Mall as they take photographs and attend the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee today

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive in a car for the Trooping the Colour parade in London this morning

People take photographs as they attend the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in London today

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive in a car for the Trooping the Colour parade in London this morning

Prince Charles smiles and waves as he arrives in a car for the Trooping the Colour parade in London this morning

Police monitor crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square in London today on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The 206 Battery of the Royal Artillery, the Ulster Gunners fire a midday commemorative gun salute today in honour of the beginning the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, at Hillsborough Castle, in Royal Hillsborough, Northern Ireland

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a photograph with military personnel outside 10 Downing Street in London today

People take photographs as they attend the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in London today

The Queen’s Guard during the Trooping the Colour parade outside Buckingham Palace in London this morning

People gather along The Mall as they attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Meanwhile the Queen has called on the nation to use her Platinum Jubilee to create ‘happy memories’ with friends and family.

Ahead of four days of global festivities, the monarch, 96, also said Britain should be proud of its achievements across the 70 years of her historic reign.

Buckingham Palace also released a glorious new portrait taken just last week to mark the occasion, showing the sovereign looking bright and cheerful at Windsor Castle.

In her special message to the nation the Queen emphasises that she wants festivities to unite the nation, rather than to celebrate her personally.

Thanking everyone across the UK and the Commonwealth who has been involved in organising events for the Jubilee, she adds: ‘I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions.’ 

She goes on to say that she hopes ‘the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years’.

Her Majesty looks elegant in a blue-grey wool Charmelaine Angela Kelly coat and dress for her specially commissioned portrait, taken by Ranald Mackechnie. 

She will make three public appearances today. First, she will take the salute at Trooping the Colour on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

The Royal Procession leaves Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade today

People attend the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in London this morning

A message for the Queen is displayed on top of the BT Tower during the Queen’s Birthday Parade this morning

People attend the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in London this morning

Crowds watch the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

People attend the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in London this morning

: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Anne, Princess Royal salute during the Trooping the Colour parade today

A general view looking down The Mall during the Queen’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour, in London this morning

Members of Band of the Household Cavalry take part in the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London this morning

People gather along The Mall for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Members of Life Guards, a regiment of the Household Cavalry, take part in the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London today

Royal fans gather on The Mall as they take photographs and attend the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee today

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne

Large crowds of revellers occupy Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations today

Crowds on The Mall as the Royal Procession leaves Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour ceremony today

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne 

People queue to try and watch Trooping the Colour in London today during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Crowds on Whitehall ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London this morning

She will then return to the balcony with 17 senior members of her family for a spectacular RAF fly-past including the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain planes. 

Where and when can I watch the Platinum Jubilee celebrations? 

Here is a rundown of what will happen as the nation pays tribute to the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign during the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and where to watch them on television.

TODAY 

  • 10am – The Queen’s Birthday Parade – Trooping the Colour – begins. Coverage is on BBC One, presented by Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and JJ Chalmers.
  • 10.30am – Members of the royal family leave Buckingham Palace in carriages for Horse Guards Parade, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also gather to watch the ceremony. The military spectacle will be followed by a balcony appearance by the Queen, it is hoped, plus key royals including the Cambridge children, to watch a special flypast.
  • 9.25pm – Members of the royal family arrive for the lighting of the principal beacon – a 21-metre Tree of Trees sculpture at the Palace. The Queen will be at Windsor and the Duke of Cambridge in London for the dual ceremony. Kirsty Young introduces coverage from 8pm on BBC One, with Jermaine Jenas at Buckingham Palace, Gethin Jones in Wales, Carol Kirkwood in Scotland, and Holly Hamilton in Northern Ireland. More than 3,500 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

TOMORROW 

  • From 9.15am on BBC One, Sophie Raworth meets many of the key people taking part in a special service of thanksgiving, while from the BBC’s Platinum Jubilee Studio at St James’ Park, Kirsty Young is joined by special guests.
  • 11am – The royal family begin to arrive for a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • 11.30am – The service begins, broadcast on BBC One with commentary from David Dimbleby inside St Paul’s.
  • 12.25pm – Members of the royal family attend a Guildhall reception hosted by the Lord Mayor.

SATURDAY 

  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter Lilibet celebrates her first birthday.
  • Senior royals tour the UK, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Cardiff Castle to meet stars ahead of a jubilee concert, the Princess Royal taking part in an animal-handling session at Edinburgh Zoo and the Earl and Countess of Wessex travelling to Northern Ireland.
  • 4.30pm – The Epsom Derby takes place. Avid racegoer the Queen is no longer planning to attend, although members of the royal family are expected to be there. Ed Chamberlin presents racing coverage on ITV from 12.40pm. A guard of honour, made of up to 40 of the Queen’s past and present jockeys, is due to line the course.
  • 7.40pm – Royals arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert. Coverage begins on BBC One from 7.30pm with Kirsty Young in St James’s Park, and Roman Kemp backstage.
  • 8pm-10.30pm – The open-air show in front of the palace, features stars including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross.

SUNDAY

  • Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches are staged across the country.
  • Coverage begins on BBC One from 1pm with commentary from Clare Balding, while Kirsty Young, AJ Odudu, Anita Rani, Anton Du Beke, Sophie Morgan and Owain Wyn Evans report on street parties across the UK.
  • The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall join a flagship feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while Edward and Sophie meet people creating the ‘Long Table’ down on The Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle.
  • 2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a cast of thousands including puppets, celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign.
  • It will move from Horse Guards, along Whitehall to Admiralty Arch, and down The Mall to the Palace.
  • The finale will feature Ed Sheeran performing and singing the national anthem with close to 200 national treasures in front of the Queen’s official residence.
  • It is hoped the Queen will make a balcony appearance as the festivities come to a close.
  • At 8pm on BBC Two, Kirsty Young looks back at the weekend of celebrations.

She will then head to Windsor Castle where she will symbolically lead the lighting of the Jubilee beacons as part of a chain of more than 3,500 tributes across the globe.

The Queen has also handed her staff a pay rise of as much as 5 per cent, The Daily Telegraph reported. Bonuses are also thought to have been agreed to show her gratitude for the handling of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Hordes of royal fans gathered along The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the occasion.

Laughing, cheering and singing God Save The Queen, crowds swarmed the avenue – a clear sign of the numbers expected to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s 70-year reign over the four-day bank holiday.

A record 12million are due to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at street parties – with 200,000 lunches due to be held this Sunday.

Giant Union Jacks lined The Mall, as pensioners, children and tourists congregated in their hundreds to take photos and soak up the atmosphere.

Heads turned as guards and horses paraded down The Mall rehearsing Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s Birthday Parade, which will take place today.

More than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will set out from Buckingham Palace and move down to Horse Guards Parade.

The parade will close with an RAF fly-past, watched by The Queen and members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony. Dozens of royal superfans pitched tents along The Mall to get a good spot. 

Many have flown in from around the world, including the US and Canada, and kept themselves entertained as they waited, taking photos and complimenting one another’s signs and decorations.

A lookalike of the Queen was popular, with many taking a beaming selfie with her. Wearing plastic silver crowns, Sammi Day, 34, her mother Michelle Day, 52, and Fiona Chappell, 45, all from Basingstoke in Hampshire, raised a toast to the Queen as they sat on camping chairs.

Donna Werner, 70, who is from Connecticut in the US said she and her friend set up their tents on Tuesday morning and are camping out until Sunday night. 

Her first royal event was the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York in 1986. She said: ‘I’ve always been enthralled with the Royal Family. It’s the magic, the pomp and circumstance.

‘The Queen is loved because she has done everything right. You’re lucky to have such a good mother of your country here.’

Her friend Mary-Jane Willows, 68, a retired charity executive from Cornwall, said she first camped out for the Diamond Jubilee, followed by the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen’s 90th birthday.

‘She has given 70 years of her life to serve us, the country,’ she said. ‘That’s what she said at her coronation and she’s done it every second of every day. We’re here to thank her and to celebrate.’

Caroline Harris, 38, who flew in from Northern Ireland, also planned to stay out last night, sitting on camping chairs wrapped in blankets with a friend.

She said: ‘This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a monarch be on the throne for 70 years. She’s seen us through war. She’s seen us through pandemics. She’s really been at the helm of the country.’

Army veterans Ronny, 54, Banffy, 59, and Robert, 46, all of the Gordon Highlanders, said they had travelled down from Aberdeenshire to celebrate the jubilee.

The group said they won tickets after putting their name in a ballot to sit in the stands by Buckingham Palace.

Pointing to the palace, Ronny said: ‘A wee wifey that lives in that house there and she has had that job for 70 years, and she needs a wee bit of celebration and we Highlanders are here to wish her well.’

Asked what they are most looking forward to, he indicated towards the lunch box they had been given, joking: ‘The snuff box for a start.’

‘The whole event’, he then added. ‘It’s a historic celebration of Her Majesty.’

Friends Hillary Mathews, 70, from Hertfordshire, and Peter Aidan, 69, from Essex, said they met in London to celebrate the ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’ as they waved flags on the Mall.

Ms Mathews said: ‘It’s just fantastic. she has just been so remarkable, the Queen.

‘Being five foot one, I don’t suppose I’ll see much but it’s just being here with the crowds and we’ll see the flypast from here, so that will be good.

‘She has done an amazing job, absolutely – who would want to do that that for 70 years? Just magnificent.

‘It’s just lovely to be somewhere where there are nice people. Everybody has got the same mission. All the horrors that’s been going on in the world and in England at the moment are put behind us for a day and we can just enjoy really celebrating the Queen’.

Royal fans sing the national anthem as they gather along the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace in London this morning

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne

Members of the military march ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on The Mall in London this morning

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne

A person wearing a Union Jack hat attends the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on The Mall in London today

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne

Police officers deal with protestors who ran onto The Mall this morning ahead of Trooping the Colour in London

Police officers remove protestors who briefly ran on to The Mall ahead of Trooping the Colour in London this morning

Police officers deal with protestors who ran onto The Mall this morning ahead of Trooping the Colour in London

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne

Talking about the sunny weather, she said: ‘I was here for Princess Diana’s funeral, it was the same day just a long time ago, but a happier day today.’

Jubilee security alert as police tackle vegan Animal Rebellion activists holding signs saying ‘Reclaim Royal Land’ after they break through barriers at The Mall moments before Trooping the Colour

Police have swooped on up to 25 protesters who smashed through security measures on the Mall ahead of Trooping the Colour.

The officers pounced as they raced over barriers to where the parade will be held shortly.

Incredibly two of the protesters – who were from Animal Rebellion – were able to sit in the middle of the Mall as the marching band approached.

Incredibly two of the protesters – who were from Animal Rebellion – were able to sit in the middle of the Mall for seconds

Officers hauled them out of the way as the musicians walked by them avoiding them completely.

Minutes later they proudly tweeted: ‘Animal Rebels disrupt the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations demanding that Royal Land is Reclaimed.

‘This summer, we’re taking bigger action against the Dairy industry than ever before, and we need you.’

There were a total of around 25 people who had been intending to sit down in the middle of the Mall to disrupt the route

Beau King Houston, amongst those taking action, said ‘The Royal family has had decades to lead the way on a just transition to plant-based farming and has failed to do so.

‘This transition is common sense and simple, we all win. 76 per cent of currently farmed land could be rewilded and absorb carbon from the atmosphere.

Five people were seen here at the side of the Mall being arrested, it is not clear if they got onto the strip itself to protest

‘This would restore nature, spare billions of animals, and present a solution to the climate emergency, all in one act.’

The activists have accused the Crown – one of the largest land owners in the country – continuing to support the meat, fishing, and dairy industry.

Protesters say these sectors and industries are leading contributors to the climate crisis.

The protesters say they mounted the action over the Crown’s alleged inaction on the climate emergency and their continued support for meat, fishing, and dairy, a leading contributor to climate breakdown

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: A number of arrests have been made of people who attempted to enter the ceremonial route in The Mall at approximately 10.10am today.

‘The arrests were public order related for highway obstruction.’

Animal Rebellion proudly tweeted: ‘This summer, we’re taking bigger action against the Dairy industry than ever before, and we need you!’

Mr Aidan added:’ I’ve always known her. All my lifetime, she’s been there and it’s just a sign of respect really.’

In a video message to mark the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, French President Emmanuel Macron, addressing the Queen, said: ‘Madame: During the past 70 years, the President of the French Republic has relied on very few constants at the international level.

‘Times have changed, Europe has evolved, our continent is again experiencing war. Through these transformations, your devotion to our alliance and to our friendship has remained, and has helped build the trust that brought freedom and prosperity to our continent.

‘Since your first state visit to France, when you were welcomed to Paris by a generation who, alongside your Army, Navy and Air Force, had fought for the freedom we now enjoy, you have visited us many times. You have shared our joys and seen the deep affection and admiration that the people of France have for you.

‘You have also visited the graves where so many of your young men lie and seen the respect and honour we constantly pay to those who sent from your homes to protect ours.

‘You are the golden thread that binds our two countries. The proof of the unwavering friendship between our nations.

‘Your first toast to one of my predecessors, Rene Coty, reminded us that trust and understanding should endure forever. Your words were matched by a lifetime of devotion to our alliance.’

Mr Macron continued his video message to the Queen: ‘From the dark days when your family welcomed General de Gaulle in your home, to his joy to welcome you in his, you have been a constant presence and a source of wisdom for the leaders of our two countries.

‘This year, the 70th of your reign, we celebrate your achievements. We are grateful for your courage and we share the respect and love that British people and Commonwealth have always shown you.’

Continuing in French, Mr Macron added: ‘You are our friend, such a close ally, our example of service to others.

‘Celebrating you today is to celebrate the sincere and deep friendship that unites our two countries, and your devotion to it. Your Majesty, it is my privilege to extend to you, on behalf of the French people, my heartfelt congratulations on your Platinum Jubilee.’

Meanwhile former Northern Ireland first minister Dame Arlene Foster has welcomed a Sinn Fein move to write to the Queen on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee.

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill wrote to the Queen to praise her ‘significant’ contribution to the peace process and to acknowledge her ‘dedicated public service to the British people’ during her 70 years on the throne.

Ms O’Neill thanked the Queen for her ‘warmth and unfailing courtesy’ on the occasions when the pair have met and wrote of the ‘value and respect’ she had for the monarch’s contribution to reconciliation.

Former DUP leader Dame Arlene praised Ms O’Neill’s gesture. ‘Obviously, I very much welcome it,’ she told BBC Radio Ulster.

Dame Arlene, who served alongside Ms O’Neill at the head of the Stormont Executive, said the Platinum Jubilee celebrated three things – the Queen’s public service and dedication; the institution of the monarchy; and the concept of Britishness.

‘I think for republicans, like Michelle O’Neill, like Nicola Sturgeon, they have recognised in Her Majesty the Queen the first of those, the fact that she has given so much service to the country.

‘They’re recognising that and I think that that is something that is to be welcomed.’

Ms O’Neill’s letter to the Queen, sent last month, reads: ‘I thought it best to write to you personally as you mark 70 years of dedicated public service to the British people as Monarch.

‘Your Platinum Jubilee is an historic moment, especially for all those from the unionist and British tradition on the island of Ireland, and across these islands whom with great pride and devotion hold you very dear.

‘Personally, I wish to thank you for your warmth and unfailing courtesy on the occasions in which both I and my late colleague, Martin McGuinness, met with you in Belfast in 2012 during your Diamond Jubilee, and thereafter at Windsor Castle during the State Visit of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins to the UK in 2014.

‘I wish to record the value and respect I place on the significant contribution you have made to the advancement of peace and reconciliation between the different traditions on our island, and between our two islands during those years of the peace process.

‘As incoming First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive I, like you, will take every opportunity to strengthen the bonds of friendship and renew the spirit of co-operation between those of us in the world of politics and public life from different traditions, and also the people and communities we proudly represent.’

Millions of people across the nation will be celebrating the Platinum Jubilee at patriotic street parties while live music, light projections and life-size cut outs of the Queen herald the historic occasion over the next four days.

Events range from family picnics to a record-breaking 5,000-strong street party in the North West, in what the Met Office has said will be a quintessentially British summer bank holiday of drizzle and patchy sunshine.

The largest party celebrating the Queen’s record-breaking 70-year reign is set to be Morecambe Bay’s Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday, which is hosting around 5,000 people at over 500 tables overlooking the sea.

Official celebrations will begin at 1pm with a Samba dance down the promenade, before Lord Shuttleworth – the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire – cuts a replica cake of the kind the Queen cut at the G7 Big Lunch at Eden last year.

Organiser Luke Trevaskis said the Lancashire seaside town is ‘incredibly proud’ to be hosting Jubilee celebrations.

Mr Trevaskis, who is the chief executive at Morecambe Town Council, said: ‘This is going to be the first major event Morecambe has had coming out of lockdown, which was a very, very difficult period of time for so many people.

‘It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate the Queen being on the throne for 70 years, but also to really celebrate what makes Morecambe special.

People gather along The Mall for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Children holding Union flags pose for a photo as they attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on The Mall today

Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne

A man wearing a Union Jack suit looks on as people gather along The Mall for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations today

Royal fans line The Mall as they wait for Trooping of the Colour today as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Royal fans line The Mall as they wait for Trooping of the Colour today as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

People gather along The Mall for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Royal fans on The Mall in London as they celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee this morning

Royal fans line The Mall as they wait for Trooping of the Colour today as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Royal fans on The Mall in London as they celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee this morning

‘Morecambe is so multi-cultural, we have a sense of pride in our diversity – and people who weren’t born in Morecambe have a sense of pride in the monarchy just as much as the people who were.’

How Elizabeth became Queen watching baboons at sunrise from Kenyan treetops 

Princess Elizabeth was watching baboons while taking photographs of the Kenyan sunrise from a hotel set in the branches of a giant fig tree when she became Queen.

It was February 6 1952 and the 25-year-old princess and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh were in the African country on a Commonwealth tour.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in Kenya in February 1952

Back in the UK, the ailing King George VI died in the early hours of the morning at Sandringham.

Elizabeth and Philip had spent the night at the remote Treetops Hotel, accessible via a ladder, in Aberdare Forest, where they watched baboons in the jungle. The princess climbed up to a look-out point at the top of the tree to see the dawn breaking.

The duke’s equerry and friend, Mike Parker, was at the Queen’s side at the look-out when they spotted an eagle hovering overhead. ‘I never thought about it until later but that was roughly the time when the King died,’ he later recalled.

Lady Pamela Hicks, who was the Queen’s lady in waiting and also Philip’s cousin, said the Queen and the duke were were ‘the last people in the world to hear’ that King had died. ‘She goes up as a princess. The king dies that night. She comes down the ladder as a Queen,’ Lady Pamela said.

Secret ciphers were sent by the British Embassy to the governor, announcing the King’s death, but the coded messages could not be read as the key to the code was elsewhere.

When the news finally filtered through to royal aides, Elizabeth was resting later at Sagana Lodge, a wedding present from the people of Kenya. The Queen’s private secretary, Martin Charteris, was in the nearby town, having a drink in a restaurant, when a writer approached him and remarked on the news.

Returning to the Lodge, he told Mr Parker, who crawled into the room were the Queen was at her desk, motioned to the Duke of Edinburgh and secretly turned on the radio very low to get confirmation but prevent the Queen finding out this way.

It allowed Philip to break the sad news to his wife while they were alone as he took her into the garden, telling her as they walked slowly up and down the lawn.

Lord Charteris remembered seeing the new monarch seated at her desk in the Lodge appearing ‘very composed, absolute master of her fate’ and ready to fulfil the role for which she had been carefully groomed.

Asked what name she wished to use as Queen, she replied simply: ‘My own name, of course.’

Just hours later, the monarch and her consort were on their way back home. Lord Charteris and Mr Parker had packed up, worked out timetables, sent a flood of signals, organised a plane at Entebbe, another from Mombasa to get there, and timed a London airport arrival for 4pm the following day.

With the King’s health failing when they had left home, a Royal Standard had been stowed in the baggage. Elizabeth’s mourning clothes, waiting for her in Entebbe, were prepared for her to wear.

It was dusk on February 7 1952 when a slim, pale figure, dressed in mourning black, descended the steps of the jet airliner.

After a long journey home, the young, new Queen set foot on English soil – the runway at London airport – for the first time as sovereign.

 

Red, white and blue smoke cannons will be released across the bay at 3.30pm to mark the end of the jubilations.

At the opposite end of the country, an LED beacon will be illuminating the south coast from Hove Esplanade in Brighton, East Sussex.

The city’s mayor, Lizzie Deane, said: ‘The Platinum Jubilee is a historic national occasion and I know many people are looking forward to having a long weekend to spend with friends and family.’

In Croydon, south London, a thanksgiving service will be held at Addiscombe Catholic Church, where diversity will be celebrated in the Queen’s 70th year.

Organiser Sylvia Wachuku-King said prayers will be said in six languages, while Guides are crafting a quilt representing the jubilee.

Meanwhile in nearby Bromley, a committee of seven women have planned a street party for 40 families.

Hairdresser Athina Hapeshis, 55, said her street came together as a community during the coronavirus pandemic, and they have decorated 72 trees in the area with Union Jack colours in preparation for the party.

Mrs Hapeshis, who is a grandmother-to-three and has a life-size cut out of the Queen in her home overlooking the street festivities, said residents can expect cakes, a live DJ and games for the children.

She said: ‘I remember the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and I wanted to make sure my grandchildren and all the children around here have something to remember.’

When asked what the monarchy meant to her community, she said: ‘Because it’s such a mix of age groups, everyone will have their own view, but it’s definitely brought the community together.

‘The fact the Queen has been serving so many years and she’s a woman – the children have been learning a lot about it at school.

‘We’re just waiting for the weather to say ‘yes, it’s going to be amazing’.’

The Met Office has said northern areas can expect a cool and showery start to the bank holiday today, before temperatures pick up tomorrow, which is set to be the warmest day of the weekend.

Temperatures are set to soar to 26C (79F) in the South tomorrow, while north-west Scotland is expected to be the warmest on Sunday.

An estimated 10 million people plan to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Department also said that more than 70,000 ‘Big Jubilee Lunches’ and 200,000 more local events have been planned across the four nations.

Many official events will also be collecting money for charities throughout the bank holiday.

Across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, more than 600 Big Jubilee Lunches are planned in around 80 countries – from Greenland to New Zealand.

And they will be watching the Royal Family’s Jubilee appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony, which have long offered a fascinating insight into the shape and future of the monarchy.

From the Queen’s Silver Jubilee to this year’s Platinum Jubilee, these line-ups send a striking message about the primary players on the royal stage.

In 2012, for the Diamond Jubilee, a slimmed-down version of The Firm stepped out to greet the mass crowds celebrating the Queen’s 60-year reign.

Just six royals waved to the well-wishers at the frontage of monarchy HQ – the Queen and only those at the very top of the succession list and their wives.

Alongside the monarch was her eldest son and heir to the throne the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, second in line to the throne the Duke of Cambridge and his wife of just over a year the Duchess of Cambridge, and third in line Prince Harry, with the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital after falling ill following the River Pageant.

The decision was said to be part of future King Charles’ vision of streamlining and modernising the institution.

Missing were the Queen’s other children, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – all then full-time working royals – and their families, amid reports Andrew was angered by the decision and Edward left disappointed.

Ten years earlier during the 2002 Golden Jubilee, 20 members of the royal family had packed the balcony of the Queen’s London home to watch a traditional flypast.

The long line of royals stretched across the balcony and included Andrew, Edward and the Countess of Wessex and Anne along with the Queen’s grandchildren Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Peter Phillips, as well as William and Harry.

Royal fans gather along the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace in London this morning for the Platinum Jubilee

People wearing attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations along The Mall in London this morning

People gather along The Mall for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this morning

Liam Roddis, from Barnsley, wearing a Union Jack suit as he the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today

Royal fans have Union flag transfers applied to their faces as they gather along The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace today

A member of the Coldstream Guards holds souvenir programs at the Trooping the Colour parade in London today

Royal fans share a laugh as they gather along The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace in London this morning

A police officer walks down The Mall as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin in London this morning

A member of Buckingham Palace staff cleans the balcony ahead of the Trooping the Colour parade in London this morning

Union flags decorate The Mall in London ahead of the Trooping the Colour parade this morning

Also there were a number of extended family – the Queen’s cousins the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and Prince Michael of Kent and his wife Princess Michael of Kent among others.

Close eye kept on Queen during busy Jubilee commitments 

Royal aides will be keeping a close eye on the Queen to make sure she does not overdo it during the Jubilee weekend. 

The monarch has faced ongoing ‘episodic mobility problems’, stretching back to last autumn, and now uses a walking stick.

Her royal physicians are also likely to be close at hand in case needed as the monarch, now just four years away from her 100th birthday, undertakes a busy run of appearances to mark her milestone reign.

In recent months, the 96-year-old Queen has cancelled a run of major engagements including the State Opening of Parliament. 

But in the weeks leading up to her Jubilee celebrations, she has also made surprise visits to open the Elizabeth line and to tour, using a golf buggy, the Chelsea Flower Show.

She flew to Balmoral at the weekend, taking the opportunity to rest during a short break ahead of the high profile national events. In October 2021, she used a walking stick at a Westminster Abbey service – the first time she had done so at a major engagement.

A week later, after a busy autumn programme, she was ordered to rest by her doctors and advised to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland.

The Queen was secretly admitted to hospital for ‘preliminary investigations’ and had her first overnight stay in hospital for eight years on October 20 2021. The next day she was back at her desk at Windsor, carrying out light duties.

But concern for her health mounted when she pulled out of more high-profile engagements, including the Cop26 climate change summit and the Festival of Remembrance, with Buckingham Palace saying she had been advised to continue to rest and to not carry out any official visits. She was intent on attending the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, but missed this due to a sprained back.

For more than three months she carried out only light duties, including virtual and face-to-face audiences in the confines of Windsor Castle. In February 2022, she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, meeting charity workers at Sandringham House and cutting a Jubilee cake in what was her largest in-person public engagement since October.

Many of her duties are now carried out by video calls, and the country’s longest-reigning sovereign remarked during a in-person audience in February: ‘Well, as you can see, I can’t move.’ 

There were fears for her health when she finally caught Covid, testing positive on February 20 2022. The triple-vaccinated Queen suffered from mild cold-like symptoms, but said the virus left her ‘very tired and exhausted’.

She carried on with light duties while self-isolating at Windsor, but cancelled some virtual audiences.

She pulled out of the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March, a significant date in the royal calendar given the importance to her of the family of nations, and did not attend the Maundy Thursday service. But she rallied to honour the Duke of Edinburgh at a memorial service at the end of March, walking slowly and carefully with the aid of a stick, and holding on to the Duke of York’s elbow for support.

In May 2022, she missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years, with Buckingham Palace attributing her absence to ‘episodic mobility problems’. 

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge opened parliament on her behalf as Counsellors of State, with Charles reading the Queen’s Speech for a historic first time.

Much has changed in the past seven months, with Buckingham Palace mostly only confirming the Queen’s attendance at engagements on the day, with the decision dependent on how she is feeling in the morning.

The Queen did go to the Windsor Horse Show in May and she was also the guest of honour at the equestrian extravaganza A Gallop Through History near Windsor, the first major event of the Jubilee festivities.

She also made a surprise appearance to officially open the Elizabeth line at Paddington Station, looking bright and cheery, but with her visit limited to just 10 minutes. She also turned up at the Chelsea Flower Show, and was driven around the floral extravaganza in her new hi-tech golf buggy for her comfort.

There was no Camilla, as the duchess was still Mrs Parker Bowles and three years away from marrying Charles.

For the Silver Jubilee in 1977, it was the Queen, Philip, their children who were then young adults and teens, as well as the influential figure of Philip’s uncle Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by the IRA two years later.

They were joined by the royal matriarch the Queen Mother, the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and Anne’s now ex-husband Captain Mark Phillips.

In 2022, scandals and family dramas have ensured a vastly altered balcony ensemble for the traditional flypast.

Gone is Harry, after he and the Duchess of Sussex stepped down as senior working royals amid the Megxit saga.

Harry and Meghan are returning to the UK for what will be the former Suits actress’ first experience of a Jubilee since she married into the Windsors.

But the Queen has ‘after careful consideration’ limited the Platinum Jubilee Trooping the Colour balcony appearance to working members of her family who carry out official public duties.

Eighteen royals will appear on Thursday including the Queen, if mobility problems allow her to do so, and Charles, Camilla, William and Kate.

There is also no place for Andrew, who was cast out of the institution over his civil sexual assault case.

But back on the balcony are Edward and Sophie, and Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, as well as the Queen’s cousins the Duke of Gloucester and his wife the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra who have devoted their lives to royal service.

This Jubilee also sees new young additions, with the Queen’s Cambridge great-grandchildren Prince George – a future monarch – Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and the Wessexes’ children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn set to appear.

Trooping the Colour is a spectacle popular with tourists and a social event for military families, but it is a ceremony steeped in the practical necessities of warfare.

On Horse Guards Parade, the site where King Henry VIII once jousted, the colour or regimental flag of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards will be paraded in front of thousands.

The soldiers on parade are servicemen trained to fight but they have spent months perfecting their ceremonial duties which will be on display for all to see, especially the Queen, who is head of the armed forces.

The ceremony dates back to the days when knowing where your comrades were in the confusion of the battlefield was paramount, and the flags of leaders were a rallying point for their troops.

Each fighting group had its own distinguishing flag and from the 1,700 company colours were gradually replaced by battalion colours, but they maintained their role as a marker in the noise and smoke of conflict.

The flag was carried past the ranks of soldiers at the end of the day, so they would be reminded of their unit’s colour, and escorted to a lodging serving as the headquarters for the night, and in the morning it was carried with reverence to its place in the ranks.

A great importance was placed on the colours which came to represent the spirit of the regiment especially when they were battle scared, with rips or holes after an encounter with the enemy.

Originally, the parade was known as ‘Lodging the Colours’ but it differs very little from the modern Trooping ceremony, and in 1805 the custom of Trooping the Colour to honour the sovereign’s birthday was first adopted but lapsed soon afterwards.

The ceremony was revived during the reign of King George IV and has continued since then.

The Queen celebrates her birthday twice a year – on April 21, her actual birthday, and during the summer with the Trooping the Colour ceremony also known as the Birthday Parade.

The decision to give the monarch two birthdays dates back to Edward VII who was born on November 9 but celebrated the anniversary in May and June as the weather was better during these months for outdoor events.

Subsequent monarchs had birthdays at more convenient times of the year, but the Queen’s father, King George VI, reintroduced the tradition which she has continued.

It is hoped that this weekend, in addition to the Trooping the Colour, the Queen will make a second Jubilee appearance at the end of the weekend after the Pageant on Sunday.

The Platinum Jubilee is the first major milestone the Queen has celebrated without the Duke of Edinburgh, who was at her side during the ups and downs of her long reign.

The Queen has thanked the nation on the eve of her historic Platinum Jubilee, saying she continues to be inspired by the goodwill shown to her – while an official portrait of Her Majesty has also been unveiled to mark the start of the celebrations

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pictured with son Archie, three, and daughter Lilibet, who will turn one this weekend

The Queen, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan along with other royals at Trooping the Colour in London in June 2019

Harry and Meghan, along with her mother Doria Ragland, introduce Archie to the Queen and Prince Philip in May 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a tweet on their official account this morning: ‘We’re looking forward to celebrating and seeing how you’re joining us in marking this #PlatinumJubilee weekend’

Philip – the man the Queen described as her ‘strength and stay’ – was married to the monarch for 73 years and devoted decades of his life to royal duty.

Queen’s relationships with 14 prime ministers 

The Queen’s 70 years as sovereign has seen 14 prime ministers, from Second World War statesman Sir Winston Churchill to present premier Boris Johnson.

Political leaders have consistently paid tribute to the monarch for her sage advice and impressive knowledge on home and world affairs during her private weekly audiences with her PMs.

Sir Winston, her first prime minister, is thought to be her favourite. He greeted the young, grieving monarch back on British soil after her sudden return from Kenya on the death of her father, King George VI. When Sir Winston retired in 1955, the Queen sent him a hand-written letter telling him how much she missed him and how no successor ‘will ever for me be able to hold the place of my first Prime Minister’. Sir Winston had nurtured her through the early years, giving her invaluable advice.

The Queen’s relationship with the starchy Sir Anthony Eden was certainly more formal, while Harold Macmillan was an urbane figure in contrast to the monarch who is a countrywoman at heart. However, on one occasion, rather than discussing affairs of state at one of their audiences, the Queen and Mr Macmillan could be seen huddled over a transistor radio as US astronaut John Glenn was hurtling through space.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home reportedly met with royal approval. An aide said: ‘He was an old friend. They talked about dogs and shooting together. They were both Scottish landowners, the same sort of people, like old schoolfriends.’

Harold Wilson endeared himself to the Queen. ‘They got on like a house on fire,’ one long-standing member of the Labour Party said. He used to join members of the royal family for riverside picnics at Balmoral.

However, Sir Edward Heath is said to have struggled with small talk and their weekly audiences have been described as ‘frosty’.

James Callaghan managed to establish a warm rapport. He said about the Queen: ‘One of the great things about her is that she always seems able to see the funny side of life. All the conversations were very enjoyable.’

But things were very different with Margaret Thatcher, who reportedly found the traditional September weekend at Balmoral painful. One observer wrote: ‘A weekend in the country with aristocrats who enjoy riding, shooting, sports and games is Thatcher’s idea of torture. But her dread of the weekend receded as the two women became somewhat more comfortable with one another.’

Baroness Thatcher also could not abide the charades that she was expected to play after dinner at Balmoral and the Queen later, at a gathering of six of her premiers, joked about ‘the party games which some of you have so nobly endured at Balmoral’. When Baroness Thatcher died in April 2013, the Queen took the unusual step of attending her ceremonial funeral – a personal decision and an indication of the Queen’s respect for her first – and at the time her only – female prime minister.

Sir John Major was popular with the royal family, and the Queen in particular, largely because of the genuine concern he expressed for the welfare of the two young princes William and Harry, first on the divorce of their parents and then on the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Sir Tony Blair was described in some palace quarters as a ‘head of state-in-waiting’, and there were courtiers who were not happy by what they saw as his encouragement of a ‘people’s monarchy’. Neither Sir Tony, who later revealed details of his private conversations with the Queen in his memoirs, nor Gordon Brown, who was reported to have a good but formal relationship with the royals, were invited to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011.

A red-faced David Cameron was forced to make a grovelling apology to the Queen in 2014 after his ‘purr-gate’ blunder. Mr Cameron was caught on camera telling then New York mayor Michael Bloomberg that the monarch had ‘purred down the line’ when he telephoned and told her the result of the Scottish independence referendum.

Theresa May was the second female prime minister of the Queen’s reign – taking up her post in July 2016 in the wake of the Brexit vote, more than a quarter of a century after Mrs Thatcher stood down. Ahead of the Platinum Jubilee, Mrs May told the House of Commons: ‘She has seen prime ministers come and go, I was number 13.’

She added: ‘She has greeted us all with charm and consideration and with an impressive knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day.’

Mrs May attempted an impression of the Queen as she recalled how the head of state was driving her to a BBQ in the Scottish Highlands when they came across a large stag. ‘Her Majesty slammed on the brakes and said: ‘What’s he doing here?’.’

She added: ‘She couldn’t understand why he had come down so low. She knew the countryside, she knew its animals.’

Mrs May’s premiership ended in 2019 after she endured a torrid time dogged by the issue of Brexit. She was succeeded by Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson was only a few hours into his post when he revealed what was said in his audience with the Queen as he accepted her invitation to form the next Government and become PM. A correspondent for Euronews NBC said the outspoken politician claimed the monarch quipped ‘I don’t know why anyone would want the job’.

Mr Johnson, who disclosed the remarks during a tour in 10 Downing Street, was told off by staff who warned him not to repeat such things so loudly. He later talked about their private audiences again, describing their meetings as a ‘very tough interview’. A few months into his premiership, Mr Johnson apologised to the Queen after the Supreme Court ruled his advice to her – imparted by Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg at Balmoral – to prorogue Parliament for five weeks had been ‘unlawful’.

Another apology to Buckingham Palace came from Downing Street amid the pandemic when two staff leaving events were held at Number 10 on April 16 last year, the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. Sue Gray’s report into the partygate scandal later revealed that staff carried on drinking at Number 10 the night before Philip’s funeral until the early hours, with the last person not leaving until 4.20am.

On April 17, the Queen sat alone in mourning for her late husband amid strict Covid restrictions, with the congregation limited to just 30 people. Mr Johnson revealed during a Parliamentary tribute to the Queen in her Jubilee year that his regular meetings with the monarch were always ‘immensely comforting, because she has seen the sweep of it’.

He died at the age of 99 in April last year during the pandemic, leaving the Queen grieving for her lifelong confidant.

Ed Sheeran is to perform his love song Perfect at the Jubilee Pageant in a moving tribute to the Queen and Philip.

At the finale of the carnival procession through the streets of London on Sunday, the star will sing the hit romantic ballad as footage of the couple fills the giant screens around the stage.

Other tributes to Philip will appear in the pageant, with a Bollywood-inspired interpretation of the Queen and the duke’s wedding day.

A 20ft (6m) wedding cake, housing a sound system playing classic Bollywood anthems and accompanied by 250 Bollywood dancers, will process down The Mall in a reimagining of their 1947 marriage celebration.

A representation of Philip’s beloved sailing boat Bluebottle will feature in the section devoted to the ‘Queen’s Favourites’, which will also include puppet corgis and horses.

It was Philip who broke the news to the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth that her father had died and she had acceded to the throne as Queen while they were away in Kenya on a tour.

He was the first layman to pay tender homage to the newly crowned monarch during her Coronation ceremony in 1953, and was there for her Silver and Golden Jubilees and when she became the longest reigning monarch in 2015.

At the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, Philip was with the Queen for the river pageant in extremely wet and windy conditions, joining a flotilla of 1,000 boats along the Thames.

But the next day he was admitted to hospital with a bladder infection and missed the Jubilee concert and service of thanksgiving.

In her most recent Christmas Day broadcast, the Queen poignantly reflected on a year of personal grief, saying there was ‘one familiar laugh missing’ as she acknowledged the death of her husband.

She gave a personal tribute to her ‘beloved Philip’ and remarked how his ‘mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him’.

The Queen was a young princess when she first met dashing naval cadet Prince Philip of Greece in 1939, during a visit to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth where he was studying.

Philip, who was 18, was introduced to 13-year-old Elizabeth at the house of the captain of the College.

Handsome, blond-haired and athletic, Philip caught Lilibet’s eye as he entertained her by jumping over tennis nets.

Marion Crawford, Elizabeth’s governess, recalled: ‘She never took her eyes off him the whole time.’

The pair began writing to each other and Philip was invited to spend the Christmas of 1943 with the royal family at Windsor.

They became secretly engaged in the summer of 1946 while they were staying at Balmoral.

Never-before-seen footage of the Queen, being shown in the BBC documentary Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen on Sunday night, reveals the overjoyed princess proudly showing off her engagement ring in a home movie.

The official announcement was delayed until after Princess Elizabeth reached the age of 21 and returned from a royal tour of South Africa the following year.

The couple wed in November 1947 and a few years later settled into married life in Malta where Philip, a naval officer, was stationed, but the death of King George VI in 1952 changed their world.

Now head of state, the Queen led a life governed by her duties as monarch. The duke, who had already given up a promising naval career as the king’s health worsened, was destined to walk one step behind his wife.

In private, the Queen deferred to Philip, who led the family, and the couple’s successful marriage became the bedrock of the monarchy.

The duke was summed up by the Queen in 1997 in a speech to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

Paying tribute to her husband’s far-reaching influence, she said: ‘He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments.

‘But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’

After Philip retired from royal duties in 2017, he was said to have spent much of his time at Sandringham, enjoying the sanctuary as he painted and read.

But in the final period of their marriage, the couple found themselves living together as they shielded from the coronavirus pandemic at Windsor Castle.

The start of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations also coincide with another significant anniversary for the monarch – her Coronation Day.

Sixty nine years ago, Elizabeth II was crowned in religious ceremony staged on June 2 1953 in the historic surrounds of Westminster Abbey and celebrated with street parties across the country.

The Queen is now the nation’s longest reigning monarch and the only one in British history to mark a Platinum Jubilee.

In 1953, She was just 27 years old and 16 months into her role as sovereign when the coronation took place, serving as a morale boost for a nation starved of pageantry following the Second World War.

The day of the coronation saw the nation host celebrations despite the hardship of post-war rationing, and even the atrocious, unseasonal weather could not dampen the festivities.

People began to bed down in the streets of London two days before the big event.

Despite the pouring rain and driving wind, the evening before, half a million people were already lining the procession route.

The coronation was shared with a wider audience through the relatively new medium of television.

Despite initial reservations, the Queen eventually agreed to allow TV cameras to be present inside the Abbey to capture the historic event.

An estimated 27 million people in Britain alone watched the coronation live on their, or their neighbours’, black and white televisions.

The Queen arriving  back in Windsor on Tuesday after a short break at Balmoral ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Harry and Meghan will watch today from the Major General’s Office, circled, overlooking Horse Guards Parade (file image)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex board a plane at Fua’amotu International Airport in Tonga during a royal tour in October 2018

The Sussexes are expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where they will hold a party for Lilibet’s first birthday

The uncrowned Queen Elizabeth II – she actually wore the George IV Diadem on her journey there – set out from Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach.

Horses have been the Queen’s lifelong passion

More than any other interest, horses and ponies have been the Queen’s passion throughout her long life.

The monarch’s love for the equine world is something she shared with her mother and she has been breeding and racing horses for more than 60 years. Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out of the five flat racing classics – the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger – with only the Derby eluding her.

The monarch’s horse Dunfermline, ridden by jockey Willie Carson, gave the Queen her most famous victory, triumphing in the Oaks and St Leger in her Silver Jubilee year 1977. In recent years the Queen made sporting history when she became the first reigning monarch to win Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup with her thoroughbred Estimate in 2013. She has also notched up more than 20 winners at Royal Ascot – one of the premier events of the racing season.

From early childhood the Queen was surrounded by horses and relatives who owned, rode and talked about them. Her first reported riding lesson took place in the private riding school at Buckingham Palace Mews in January 1930, when she was still only three years old. When she was five the Queen Mother led her on Peggy, a Shetland pony given to her when she was four by her grandfather King George V, to a meet of the Pytchley Hounds at Boughton Cover.

After she became sovereign in February 1952, the Queen inherited the royal colours: purple, gold braid, scarlet sleeves, black velvet cap with gold fringe. Her first winner as Queen came just a few months later when Choir Boy passed the winning post ahead of the field to claim the Wilburton Handicap at Newmarket that May. The next few years were a golden period for her horses and in 1954 and again in 1957 she was named the leading winner-owner.

Over the following decades, she pursued her keen interest in horse breeding, sending her mares to stud farms around the world as well as breeding animals at home. 

The Queen’s horses and ponies, which number around 180, are kept at various royal residences and stables from Sandringham to Balmoral. The monarch takes a keen interest in their breeding and training and is respected for her knowledge of the equine world. But the head of state famously does not bet and appears to get her enjoyment from watching her horses develop and compete.

The Queen’s cousin Margaret Rhodes, interviewed a number of years ago for a BBC documentary about the monarch’s passion for horse racing, said: ‘You see I think that early on, when she became Queen, I think that she had to sacrifice within herself an awful lot of emotions and thoughts of the future and everything else.

‘But I think with horses it’s another world in that it reduces you to just the person in relation to the animal, and you’re not a Queen, you’re just a human being.’

 

Years later in a BBC documentary about the day, the Queen recalled how the journey had been ‘horrible’.

‘It’s only sprung on leather,’ she said of the coach, adding: ‘Not very comfortable.’

The Gold State Coach will play a starring role in the Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, travelling down The Mall, with footage of the Queen using it on her Coronation showing at its windows, giving the impression of the young monarch riding in the carriage.

The Queen also told many years later how she had a problem getting started in her lengthy coronation robe.

‘I remember one moment when I was going against the pile of the carpet and I couldn’t move at all,’ she remarked.

Her coronation dress, by couturier Norman Hartnell, was a white satin gown, encrusted with diamonds, gold and silver bullion, seed pearls, crystals, pale amethysts and sequins to create a shimmering effect.

Embroidery in pastel-coloured silks depicted the emblems of the United Kingdom and countries of the Commonwealth.

The three-hour service took place in front of a congregation of more than 8,000 people.

The Queen took the coronation oath, was anointed and received the regalia including the orb, coronation ring, the glove and the sceptre, before being crowned with the majestic St Edward’s Crown.

The crown, which dates from 1661, weighs 4lbs and 12oz and is made from solid gold.

The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be his wife’s ‘liege man of life and limb’ and was the first layman to pay tender homage to the newly crowned monarch.

Prince Charles, looking rather bored, watched in the Abbey seated between his widowed grandmother, the Queen Mother, and his aunt, Princess Margaret, but two-year-old Princess Anne was considered too young to attend.

The two-hour procession – mirrored in the carnival Jubilee Pageant procession route this weekend – back to Buckingham Palace was designed so as many people as possible could see the monarch.

The Queen changed into a robe of purple velvet and put on the lighter Imperial State Crown before she left the Abbey.

She appeared on the balcony with Philip and other members of the royal family including Charles and Anne to wave at the crowds.

In her broadcast address to the nation the same evening, the young Queen thanked the public for their support. ‘Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust,’ she said.

In other events this weekend, a special showing of the spectacular Kynren historical re-enactment pageant is being staged in a tribute to the Platinum Jubilee.

Some 1,000 volunteers are putting on the outdoors night-time show which romps through 2,000 years of English history in 90 minutes, with Queen Elizabeth featuring centre stage in the firework-lit finale.

It features bloody battles with the Romans and Vikings, Norman invaders, civil war and world wars, industry and entertainment, and three queens – in addition to the reigning monarch.

A special show tomorrow kicks off Kynren’s seventh season, staged in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, thanks to philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer, who is hoping to regenerate the town through culture.

Prince William leads The Colonel’s Review – the final evaluation of the Trooping the Colour parade – in London on May 28

As colonel of the Grenadier Guards, Andrew has previously played a key role at Trooping the Colour (pictured there in 2019)

The Queen and Prince Philip wave to the crowd from the balcony at Buckingham Palace following her coronation in June 1953

1953 — Crowds of people try to shelter amid heavy rain on The Mall before the for the Coronation procession in June 1953

Speaking after a dress rehearsal, show CEO Anne-Isabelle Daulon said: ‘It meant a lot to us to bring forward our usual summer season and have a show that would coincide with the coronation of the Queen 70 years ago.

‘The finale is the coming together of all the all the cast members that have been on stage throughout the show. And it’s a celebration of coming together which is also the meaning of this adventure. And we do that under amazing fireworks. So, what’s not to like?’

The show creator wished that the Queen would enjoy the show if she came to see it, saying: ‘I hope she would take it as an expression of gratitude for a life of service. We celebrate what is best in the country and we hope to put a smile on people’s faces, giving them the opportunity to reflect and to actually feel really proud. 

‘So, hopefully, she would like it. It’s a very fitting way of celebrating the Jubilee and Britishness, and this weekend is all about communities coming together. It’s about being positive, being proud and feeling that this is what the nation does best. So, I think it encapsulates Kynren.’

Local people put on the show, either performing or hosting visitors, after receiving professional training.

The open air shows are performed beneath Auckland Castle and feature daring horse riding, waddling ducks, flaming arrows, a Norman longboat, the Beatles and the Spice Girls. The Jubilee show today is followed by performances every Saturday night in August and the first two in September.

How the nation will celebrate Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee with four days of joyous celebrations starting TODAY with Trooping the Colour before ending with a glorious pageant 

Anticipation is building for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with people across the UK preparing to mark Her Majesty’s 70th year on the throne with a four-day weekend of festivities – starting from today.

A series of major events has been scheduled, beginning this morning with Trooping the Colour and ending on Sunday with a special Pageant celebrating the life of the nation’s longest-reigning monarch. 

Outdoor parties will also take place on Sunday as part of the Big Jubilee Lunch, while there will be a televised concert on the BBC from Buckingham Palace the day before. Though celebrations have already started in some places, official events will begin today with a special Trooping the Colour. 

More than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division will stage the display on Horse Guards Parade in London, with the colour trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.

The Queen is expected to delight crowds with an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony – at the start of celebrations after Trooping the Colour. It is also expected that she will appear again on the balcony after the Pageant parade finale on Sunday.

The monarch is also hoping to be able attend the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, with her wider family including –  it is expected – Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew.

The Queen, 96, is also set to spend time with the Sussexes, who are bringing their children Archie and Lilibet over from the US – and could meet Lili for the first time as she celebrates her first birthday on Saturday.

On Sunday, thousands of people will gather across the country as more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches and street parties are staged in celebration of the Queen’s record-breaking 70 year reign.

Royal Family members will also visit every corner of the UK over the weekend for official engagements – with William and Kate going to Wales; Edward and Sophie travelling to Northern Ireland; and Anne to Scotland. 

Here, MailOnline looks at the programme of events over the four-day bank holiday weekend from today: 

TODAY 

Trooping the Colour (from 10am, flypast at 1pm)

The official programme for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee begins with the Trooping the Colour military spectacle this Thursday, which is due to begin at around 10am at Buckingham Palace.

More than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division will stage the display on Horse Guards Parade in London, with the colour trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.

Some 400 musicians from 10 military bands and corps of drums will march amid pomp and pageantry.

The Royal Family will travel from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to the parade ground in carriages at about 10.30am, with the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal on horseback.

Plans are said to be in place either for the Queen briefly to inspect the troops on the parade ground or from the balcony with the Duke of Kent, or to only appear on the balcony with the royal family for a special flypast afterwards.

If the Queen does delegate her salute duties at Trooping to another family member, it will be the first time she has done so in her 70-year reign.

Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, William and the Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will be on the balcony for the flypast which is due to take place at about 1pm.

The Queen limited the numbers to working royals, meaning the Duke of York and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be there.

But her Cambridge 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 be present.

A six-minute display by more than 70 aircraft will include the Red Arrows and the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Platinum Jubilee Beacons (from 9.25pm)

On Thursday evening, more than 3,000 beacons will be set ablaze across the UK and the Commonwealth in tribute to the Queen.

The network of flaming tributes will stretch throughout the country, with beacons at sites including the Tower of London, Windsor Great Park, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen’s estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, and on top of the UK’s four highest peaks.

The first beacons will be lit in Tonga and Samoa in the South Pacific, and the final one in the central American country of Belize.

The principal beacon outside the Palace – a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative – will be illuminated by a senior member of the royal family, and images will be projected on to the Palace.

FRIDAY 

Service of Thanksgiving (from 11am)

A traditional service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London from 11am on Friday.

There will be no ceremonial journey to the cathedral and the Queen, if she attends, will use a different entrance to aid her comfort rather than the steep main steps.

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

The Archbishop of Canterbury has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the service. The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will give the sermon instead.

Justin Welby was diagnosed with mild pneumonia last Thursday and was continuing to work, but after developing symptoms over the weekend he tested for coronavirus.

SATURDAY 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Cardiff Castle to meet performers and crew involved in the special Platinum Jubilee Celebration Concert taking place in the castle grounds later that afternoon, Buckingham Palace has announced.

During their visit, William and Kate will view rehearsals and meet some of the acts taking part in the celebrations, including Bonnie Tyler and Owain Wynn Evans.

Hosted by Aled Jones and Shan Cothi, the concert at Cardiff Castle will feature live performances from some of Wales’ best-known singers and entertainers, alongside choirs, bands and orchestras.

During the extended bank holiday weekend, the Earl and Countess of Wessex will carry out two engagements in Northern Ireland while the Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, will visit Edinburgh. 

Epsom Derby (from 4pm)

The Queen is no longer planning to attend the Epsom Derby during her Platinum Jubilee weekend. 

The 96-year-old monarch is said to want to pace herself during her milestone celebrations, with her daughter the Princess Royal representing her at the racecourse instead, The Sunday Times reported.

The Derby on Saturday June 4 was to be a personal highlight for the Queen during the four days of Jubilee festivities.

The head of state, a passionate horse owner and breeder, was due to be greeted on the course with a special guard of honour including up to 40 of her past and present jockeys.

But the newspaper revealed the monarch is now ‘increasingly unlikely’ to head to Epsom. However the Queen will still have a runner – Just Fine, in the penultimate race of the afternoon.

Lilibet’s birthday 

Saturday is also the first birthday of Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet, amid speculation the youngster could spend the day with her namesake great-grandmother.

The Sussexes are flying over from the US with Lili, who has never met the Queen in person before, and her older brother Archie.

It could be the first time Harry and Meghan have been seen alongside the Windsor clan since Megxit and since they accused an unnamed senior royal of racism during their controversial Oprah Winfrey interview. 

Party At The Palace (from 7.30pm)

In the evening, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.

The line-up includes Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra.

The show will also feature appearances from stars including Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews.

Charles and William are preparing to deliver public tributes at the concert to the Queen, who will be watching on television from Windsor.

SUNDAY 

Big Jubilee Lunch

Millions of people are expected to sit down with their neighbours at street parties, picnics and barbecues, with more than 200,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK on the Sunday afternoon,

Camilla, patron of the Big Lunch, 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.

The Platinum Pudding, Scotch eggs and fruit platters will feature on a six-metre felt creation by artist Lucy Sparrow which is to be viewed by Charles and Camilla at The Oval. It will be given pride of place in the Grand Entrance of Buckingham Palace later this year.

Members of the local community, 70 volunteers who have been recognised as Platinum Champions through the Royal Voluntary Service’s Platinum Champions Awards, celebrity ambassadors and various charity representatives will be among the guests at the cricket ground.

The royal couple will also present the Platinum Champions with certificates and pins, before cutting a Big Jubilee Lunch cake.

More than 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches are being planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond – from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa to Switzerland.

Edward and Sophie will join Berkshire residents for their special lunch on the Long Walk, not far from Windsor Castle.

The Long Walk is being reinvented to create ‘the Long Table’ in celebration of the jubilee. This royal pair are also set to meet groups of street performers.

Charles and Camilla will also celebrate with the residents of Albert Square in an EastEnders special. They will be seen attending a Big Lunch in a June 2 episode of the BBC soap.

The Big Lunch is an annual event aimed at celebrating community connections.

Jubilee Pageant (from 2.30pm)

The finale on June 5 is the Jubilee Pageant through the streets of London.

Set to be watched by up to a billion people across the globe, more than 10,000 people have been involved in staging the £15million procession.

Puppet corgis, a giant 3D wire bust of the Queen and the Gold State Coach are just some of the sights set to feature in the 1.8-mile (3km) parade.

Stars including Idris Elba, Sir Cliff Richard, Courtney Love and Slade’s Noddy Holder will take to open-top buses in a through-the-ages tribute to the culture and music of the 70 years of the Queen’s reign.

A peloton of 300 cyclists, riding vintage bikes from across the seven decades of her reign, is to travel down The Mall led by Sir Chris Hoy and cycling golden couple Dame Laura and Sir Jason Kenny.

Olympic champions Sir Chris, Dame Laura and Sir Jason will be among six ‘hero cyclists’ who race towards Buckingham Palace ready to complete a 360-degree circuit of the Queen Victoria Memorial on Sunday.

Some 205 vehicles will appear as part of the parade, including 11 Morris Minors, seven Land Rovers, 20 vintage Minis including one in the shape of an Outspan Orange and seven original James Bond vehicles.

How the Queen’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees saw millions of Britons party in celebration

Over the decades, the Queen’s jubilees have been colourful displays of pageantry, parties and pop concerts, giving the nation the chance to unite in celebration of the monarch and her years of service.

From the flag-festooned street jamborees of 1977 to the star-studded televised concert of 2002 and the river extravaganza of 2012, the Queen’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees have been important milestones during her reign.

Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to celebrate their Platinum Jubilee – marking 70 years on the throne. Here is a look back at the Queen’s past jubilees:

– Silver Jubilee in 1977

The Queen’s first jubilee saw her travel 56,000 miles around the world in celebration, journeying from Western Samoa, Australia and New Zealand to Tonga, Fiji, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, Canada and the West Indies.

Large crowds also turned out to see her on a busy UK tour when she visited 36 counties over 10 weeks to mark 25 years on the throne. Street parties were held across the country and beacons were lit in her honour.

More than one million flocked to the Mall in London and the Queen travelled in a state coach with the Duke of Edinburgh to St Paul’s Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving.

At a Guildhall luncheon, the Queen reiterated the dedication she made at the age of 21 when she pledged to serve her country for life.

There was a River Progress of 140 vessels down the Thames, the opening of the Silver Jubilee Walkway and South Bank Jubilee Gardens, firework displays and a Palace balcony appearance.

The year 1977 saw the Lib-Lab pact, the Grunwick picket clashes, punk rock and Red Rum winning the Grand National for a record third time.

The Queen, at the age of 51, became a grandmother for the first time with the birth of grandson Peter Phillips.

The Sex Pistols released their anti-authoritarian hit God Save The Queen which was banned from the airwaves. They promoted it on their own Jubilee boat trip along the Thames which ended in their arrest.

1977 — People mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in the UK in 1977 in Salford in one of 12,000 parties held for her that year

– Ruby Jubilee in 1992

This was the year of the Queen’s 40th anniversary on the throne – but it is better known as her ‘annus horribilis’ – one of the most difficult periods of her reign.

That year, the marriages of three of her four children were in tatters. The Princess Royal divorced, the Duke and Duchess of York separated and the Prince and Princess of Wales were splitting up.

Andrew Morton’s book, Diana: Her True Story, alleged that Diana was deeply unhappy and had attempted suicide.

Then came a devastating fire at Windsor Castle. Public opinion turned against the royals amid fears that taxpayers would have to foot the bill. The Queen announced that she would pay tax on her income and cut down the size of the Civil List.

In an unusually personal address at a London Guildhall luncheon in November 1992 to mark her 40th year on the throne, the Queen told guests: ‘1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.’

She added: ‘In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an ‘annus horribilis’.’

Commemorations for this jubilee were low key. In October 1992, the Queen and her family attended the ‘Great Event’ – a televised evening of performances at London’s Earl’s Court, and in the summer there was a prime ministerial banquet.

It was also the year of Black Wednesday – the day Britain crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism – and the break-up of Yugoslavia.

– Golden Jubilee in 2002

Just like the Silver Jubilee, people crowded into the Mall and the monarch toured Britain and the Commonwealth. But there was major difference – the Party at the Palace.

In 2002, more than 12,000 people won tickets to watch an unprecedented pop concert inside the grounds of Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s 50th anniversary.

Highlights included guitarist Brian May blasting out a rock National Anthem from the roof, Sir Paul McCartney leading the cast of stars with The Beatles’ classic Hey Jude, and Dame Edna Everage bellowing ‘The Jubilee Girl is here, possums,’ as the 76-year-old Queen took her seat.

The Prince of Wales paid tribute to his mother on stage, calling her ‘Mummy’, and there was a finale of fireworks and a light show over the Palace.

The year had begun with great sadness for the Queen with the deaths of her sister Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, but despite doubters insisting the Golden Jubilee would be a flop, the event was heralded a success.

2002 — A Golden Jubilee street party in Liverpool in 2002 as families celebrate the Queen’s long reign

– Diamond Jubilee in 2012

The Queen is only the second British monarch to reach a Diamond Jubilee – following in the footsteps of her ancestor Queen Victoria. The Windsors were enjoying a surge of interest after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.

But for most of the festivities held in June to mark the head of state’s 60 years on the throne, the Queen was forced to celebrate without Philip at her side. The duke was taken to hospital with a bladder infection after enduring a wet and windy trip down the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.

More than 1,000 boats including kayaks, Dunkirk ships and dragon boats had taken part, and the Queen, the duke and senior royals travelled on an ornate royal barge, watched by more than 1.25 million spectators who lined the river banks despite the rain.

The Queen also opened up the Palace gardens to thousands of picnickers, who were presented with special Jubilee hampers. A pop concert – staged because of the success of the Golden Jubilee show – was held in front of the Palace as well-wishers descended on the Mall once again.

Take That’s Gary Barlow brought in acts such as Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, and a hula-hooping Grace Jones dressed in a PVC leotard. But Philip missed both the concert and a service of thanksgiving.

During the Silver Jubilee, the Queen circled the globe. But this time the sovereign had turned 86 and such duties fell to the younger generation of royals.

The year also saw London host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and William and Kate announced they were expecting their first child.

2012 — A Diamond Jubilee party is held in Kensington, West London, on June 4, 2012 as people celebrate ten years ago

– Sapphire Jubilee – 2017

The Queen made history as the first British monarch to reach 65 years on the throne – a Blue Sapphire Jubilee. But there were no grand festivities, with celebrations reserved for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, and she spent the day privately at Sandringham.

Buckingham Palace reissued a David Bailey photograph of the Queen to mark the occasion. She wore a suite of sapphire jewellery given to her by her father George VI as a wedding gift.

Then-prime minister Theresa May hailed the Queen as ‘truly an inspiration to all of us’, and celebratory stamps and coins were issued.

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