Elizabeth II turns 70 on the throne, and this is not a birthday that is celebrated every day. The British monarch reached that figure last February but, as usual with the birthdays of the kings of the country, she has waited until June to celebrate it from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. However, this year the celebrations will be much greater as it is an anniversary of such caliber. Elizabeth II is the first British sovereign to celebrate so many years of reign and, in fact, she is the second in the world: she is only surpassed by the French King Louis XIV, who spent 72 years on the throne.
The festivities will be many and varied and will feature the entire United Kingdom, although its capital, London, will take the lion’s share of the cake. Among Thursday June 2 and Sunday June 5 the agenda is full of stellar acts and appearances by the royal family and other celebrities.
Thursday, June 2
This coming Thursday is the big day of the Jubilee. The Trooping The Color is celebrated, the traditional parade that usually takes place on the second Saturday of June, but that this 2022 is brought forward so that the celebrations continue the rest of the days. Whenever it happens, the sovereign’s birthday has been celebrated on those days for 260 years.
Starting at ten in the morning British time (eleven in mainland Spain) the Trooping the Color will start, more than 1,200 officers and soldiers, 400 musicians from 10 different bands and 240 horses will stroll through the Mall, one of the main arteries of the British capital, until arriving at Buckingham Palace, official residence of the queen, and there the active members of the royal family (that is, Enrique, Meghan Markle or Prince Andrew will not be there) will greet the congregated. It is estimated that then, around 2:00 p.m. Spanish peninsular time, the planes of the RAF, the Royal Air Force, will fly over London. The BBC will broadcast it live, also on the internetand there will be giant screens in the Mall and Saint James’s Park in London, and also in Cardiff’s Bute Park and in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.
Those who want to go to the Mall in person to see it will have to be there one hour before (9:00 in London) and are required to dress formally, according to the event: dress or suit, but no jeans, shorts or sandals; Hats are recommended, and members of the military will wear uniforms.
In addition, 1,500 lighthouses and bonfires will be lit across the UK, including in the Overseas and Commonwealth Territories, something that has been going on since Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The main one will be lit in London and it will be called The Tree of Trees, the tree of trees. Some members of the British royal family will come to light it at 9.25 London time.
Friday, June 3
The next day a thanksgiving service will take place in the capital’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral, where the sovereign will attend accompanied by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In this case, it is expected that Henry of England and his family will appear, as well as Prince Andrew, removed from public life due to his relationship with the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Windsors are expected to arrive around 11.00 (noon, Spanish peninsular time). It can also be followed live from two hours before via the BBC.
The largest church bell in the United Kingdom will ring in the cathedral, as stated by the British royal house, restored in 2021 and which has rung eight times, although never by an act of royalty.
Saturday, June 4
After the military and religious acts, the weekend is for the party. Saturday is divided into two parts, afternoon and evening. Starting at 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Spanish peninsular time) the Epsom derby will be held, one of Elizabeth II’s favorite horse competitions. However, her presence is not confirmed, due to her mobility difficulties, and the British media claim that her daughter, Ana, will be her substitute. may be followed live on ITV1.
At night it will be time for music. The so-called Platinum Party at the Palace will be a celebration with more than 22,000 attendees (including 5,000 essential workers) and it will be possible to see performances by Queen, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Hans Zimmer and the Royal Ballet, among others. Everything will start at eight in the afternoon (9:00 p.m., Spanish peninsular time) and can be seen live on the BBC; Members of the British royal family will also be present, but no names have been confirmed. Screens will be placed at the same points as during Trooping The Colour.
In addition, in Cardiff, Wales, there will be another concert featuring Bonnie Tyler, among others. William of England and Kate Middleton will attend the event – which will end early, at 7:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m., Spanish peninsular time). Later, in the same venue you can follow the recital from Buckingham on giant screens. But the Welsh date will mean that the couple will not be at the festivities, those private ones, which are expected for that Saturday. That day is the first birthday of Lilibet, the youngest daughter of Henry of England and Meghan Markle. Nor will Eduardo, the fourth son of the queen, and his wife, Sofia of Wessex, who will travel to Northern Ireland.
Sunday, June 5
The last day of festivities will be Sunday 5, with the so-called Great Jubilee Lunch. Across the UK there will be luncheons, picnics and street food. More than 60,000 people have already registered for 600 large lunches, according to the British royal house, and it wants to break the Guinness record for the largest street party in the world. In fact, in Windsor they also want to beat the one for the longest picnic table in the world: 500 meters and where 1,600 people can sit down to eat. It is estimated that 10 million people take to the streets to eat and celebrate not only in the country but throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, which emerged after the dismantling of the British Empire in the mid-20th century and which groups 34 countries. In addition, the pubs They will be open until 1:00 a.m.
The festive closing will be the Platinum Jubilee Parade, a street party to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth in which some 10,000 people will participate and in which some of “the most iconic moments of the reign and the social changes of the last 70 years”, as explained in a palace statement, which ensures that “key figures from music, cinema, sports and the arts, including well-loved names, as well as military personnel, essential workers and volunteers” will be part of it. .
That parade will be led by the famous Golden Carriage in which Elizabeth II has been seen on the most solemn occasions, but in this case the queen will not travel in this vehicle from 1760 (which she herself has described on occasion as “not very comfortable”). Something that the royal house promises to compensate with “a fabulous surprise”. The parade will start at 2:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m., Spanish peninsular time) and can be followed on big screens in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh already via the BBC.
And also… palaces, clothes and tiaras
Both Sandringham and Balmoral Castle, the residences where Elizabeth II spends her Christmas and her summers, respectively, will open to the public and can be visited. In addition, three exhibitions in Holyroodhouse (Edinburgh), Windsor, and Buckingham will show, between July and October, both some of the iconic garments of the queen —including the so-called robe of state, which she wore at her coronation in 1953— as well as her jewels and portraits. real. And one more at Sotheby’s in London will allow visitors to see some of the most famous and valuable tiaras on the planet until mid-June, such as the Spencer, worn by Princess Diana at her wedding to Charles in 1981, or some belonging to Queen Victoria or Josephine Bonaparte. Plans of all kinds to celebrate Elizabeth II in a Platinum Jubilee difficult to repeat: if Prince William became king right now (although he is second in line to succession; his father, Carlos, 73, is ahead ), would have to live to be 110 years old.