A long weekend of pomp, pageantry and patriotism has been planned across Britain to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most loved members of its royal family.
Final preparations are being made to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. Four days of celebrations will take place across the UK over the weekend.
Queen Elizabeth’s 62 million subjects have been given two extra public holidays for the occasion on Monday and Tuesday. Just as during her coronation, millions are expected to throng the streets outside her London home Buckingham Palace.
Elizabeth II’s Coronation took place on June 2, 1953, more than a year after she became Queen. It was the world’s first major international event to be broadcast on television.
During her reign there have been 12 British prime ministers, 12 US presidents and six popes. Elizabeth has visited 116 countries and hosted hundreds of world leaders.
A song for the Diamond Jubilee has been composed by King of musicals Andrew Lloyd Webber and pop icon Gary Barlow.
Official celebrations include two concerts, a 1,000-boat flotilla along London’s River Thames and a procession through the city in a carriage fit for an 86-year-old queen.
While an estimated three-quarters of a million anglophiles are arriving for the celebrations, close to two million Britons are heading off to warmer climes, because as usual, forecasters predict that rain could dampen the occasion.