BRITS will be treated to a four-day Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, Buckingham Palace revealed today.
Her Majesty, 95, will enjoy a four-day bonanza to mark her 70th year on the throne, including a special celebration involving 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians.
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The Queen will also enjoy The Derby at Epsom Downs with members of the Royal Family and a live concert at Buckingham Palace involving "some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars".
It is the first time any British monarch has reached this historic milestone and the Palace today revealed that it will be celebrated in style.
The government had already hinted that Brits will be treated to a four-day weekend from June 2 to June 5 to mark the special occasion.
But the Palace today confirmed the extra days off, which will "provide an opportunity for communities and people to come together and celebrate the historic milestone".
The May Bank Holiday Weekend – which usually falls at the end of the month – will be moved to Thursday June 2 for Her Majesty’s 70th year on the throne.
The weekend will then be extended with an extra day off on Friday June 3.
On the Thursday, 1,400 soldiers will come together for the traditional Trooping the Colour parade to mark The Queen's official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June.
This will be followed by a special Platinum Jubilee Beacons event which will see beacons being lit across the UK and Commonwealth for the first time.
On Friday, a Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
The following day, the Queen will attend The Derby at Epsom Downs with her family and then head back to Buckingham Palace for the special Platinum Party with world famous entertainment stars.
The momentous occasion will end on Sunday with a Big Jubilee Lunch where neighbours are invited to "share friendship, food and fun".
THURSDAY, JUNE 2
The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour): Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen's official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June.
Platinum Jubilee Beacons: Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories. For the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
FRIDAY, JUNE 3
Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
SATURDAY, JUNE 4
The Derby at Epsom Downs: Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.
Platinum Party at the Palace: The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars. Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event.
SUNDAY, JUNE 5
The Big Jubilee Lunch: People are invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. A Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque. The Big Lunch provides tips and ideas for hosting an event.
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: A pageant featuring over 5,000 people will take place outside Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets. It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume and celebrate the service of Her Majesty’s reign.
A Platinum Jubilee Pageant then draws a close on the four-day weekend.
More than 5,000 people are expected to flock the streets outside Buckingham Palace to honour her reign with a carnival celebrating the arts, theatre, music, circus and costume.
The Palace also revealed the Queen and members of the Royal Family will spend the next 12 months travelling around the country to undertake a variety of engagements to mark the historic occasion.
This will finish with the focal point of the Platinum Jubilee Weekend in June – one year from today.
The Palace said: "An extended bank holiday, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June, will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone.
"The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service."
The packed schedule of events is set to “reflect on the monarch’s reign, and her impact on the UK and the world since 1952”.
An extended bank holiday, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June, will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone."
A "once-in-a-generation show" will also present the best of “British ceremonial splendour and pageantry with cutting edge artistic and technological displays”, according to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
Mr Dowden first revealed the plans in The Sun last year, vowing to ensure the celebrations match the “unforgettable spectacle” of the London 2012 Olympics.
He also promised “a series of spectacular, show-stopping moments”.
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign began on February 6, 1952, with her coronation taking place on June 2 the following year.
Confirming the plans for her Platinum Jubilee, Mr Dowden said: “Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee will be a truly historic moment – and one that deserves a celebration to remember.
“We can all look forward to a special, four-day Jubilee weekend, when we will put on a spectacular, once-in-a-generation show that mixes the best of British ceremonial splendour with cutting edge art and technology.
"It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign.”
The commemorations are being arranged jointly with The Royal Household and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
In keeping with tradition, a Platinum Jubilee medal will be awarded to people who work in public service including representatives of the Armed Forces, the emergency services and the prison services.
The practice stretches back to the reign of Queen Victoria when an official medal was designed to mark her 50th anniversary on the throne.
The milestone year of 2022 will also see England host the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Festival of Brexit, which will showcase the best of Britain.
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