The Royal Family The Diamond Jubilee
"The Queen's Jubilee 2012"
— June 2-5, 2012
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Weekend
Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Weekend Celebration (marking her 60-year reign on the British throne) included four days of fun festivities — Diamond Jubilee Celebratory Street Parties, The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant (an unprecedented 1000-boat, 15-mile flotilla on the River Thames), Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, Spectacular Fireworks Display, Royal Carriage Procession, 60-Gun Salute, Royal Family appearance on Buckingham Palace balcony, and an RAF Flypast.
The Queen attended the Epsom Derby, referred to this year as the Diamond Jubilee Derby. The Derby (at Epsom Downs Racecourse) is considered to be one of England's (and the world's) most popular horse races. The Epson has been run since 1780 and inspired the U.S. Kentucky Derby. The Coronation Cup has been renamed the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
— Big Jubilee Lunch
Diamond Jubilee Celebratory Street Parties and Picnic Lunches. Small and large groups (family, friends and neighbors) in London and across the U.K. got together to share lunch and celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
— The Thames River Diamond Jubilee
Pageant @ 2-6pm
A spectacular 1,000-boat, 15-mile flotilla took place on London's River Thames — starting upriver of Battersea Bridge and ending down river of Tower Bridge. The Queen and Prince Philip (along with Prince Charles & Camilla, Prince William & Kate, and Prince Harry) led the flotilla, traveling in a decorated Royal Barge — the dreary wet weather didn't dampen anyone's spirits, especially HM the Queen!
Approximately 30,000 people participated in the Thames flotilla, in boats ranging from tiny kayaks, tall ships, Venetian gondolas, Chinese dragon boats, Hawaiian war canoes, historic boats, music barges, herald boats with belfries and spouting water boats — it was truly a sight to behold!
The once-in-a-lifetime event was watched by millions of spectators along the riverbanks, plus millions more at home and around the globe — and at street parties across the U.K. For those of us Brits living across the pond, we got to see it all live (very early in the morning) on BBC America and CNN.
Jubilee festivities continued with an evening Diamond Jubilee Concert @ Buckingham Palace*. The free three-hour show featured top-name entertainers in Rock, Pop, Classical and Musical Theatre — Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Tom Jones, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones... and others. The special lighting effects were stunning, especially those projected on to Buckingham Palace!
At the end of the concert, the Queen lit the National Beacon on the Mall (2,012+ Diamond Jubilee Beacons were lit around the world to commemorate The Queen's 60-year reign) — this sparked a spectacular four-minute fireworks display featuring 4,000+ fireworks over Buckingham Palace that lit up the night sky. What a proud moment to be British!
*NOTE: Highlights of the event "Concert for the Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration" were broadcast to U.S. viewers on Tuesday night (June 5th) exclusively on ABC.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
— Royal Carriage Procession
to Buckingham Palace
— Royal Family Balcony Appearance
— RAF Flypast
Service at St. Paul's Cathedral,
followed by two receptions
Special Diamond Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall — the oldest building in the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament)
Carriage Procession to Buckingham Palace (see Processional Route video above). A last-minute change in plans due to the hospitalization of The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) — the Queen, along with Prince Charles and Camilla led the Royal procession in the historic 1902 State Landau carriage (built for King Edward VII and used by Prince William and Kate on their wedding day).
Following in the procession was The Prince of Wales (William), The Duchess of Cornwall (Kate), and Prince Henry of Wales (Harry). Procession left the New Palace Yard and proceeded up Whitehall, then on to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down the Mall, ending at Buckingham Palace.
During the procession, there was a 60-Gun Salute fired by The King's Troop.
Televised Royal Family appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony — just six of them (The Queen, Prince Charles & Camilla, Prince William & Kate, and Prince Harry)
BBC America and CNN broadcast events live for U.S. viewers.
Millions of spectators lined London's streets to catch a glimpse of The Queen and the Royal Family along the Procession Route (during 2011's Royal Wedding, an estimated two billion people tuned in to watch the live broadcast) — and millions more watched the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations around the globe. It's something we will never again see in our lifetime!