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Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: All About The Huge 4-Day Celebration

London: 

Four days of public celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s record-breaking 70-year reign begin on Thursday.

Thursday (June 2)

More than 1,200 soldiers from the Household Division of the British Army perform the “Trooping of the Colour” ceremony to officially mark the queen’s birthday.

The military pageant, complete with musicians and horses, combines pomp and tradition dating back more than two centuries.

The queen will take the salute from troops on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, then reappear later to wave to crowds and watch a fly-past of military jets.

Balcony appearances this year are restricted to working royals only, which means no Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, nor Prince Andrew.

But Harry and Meghan will watch the Trooping of the Colour at Horseguards Parade with senior royals.

The queen will be seen again at Windsor Palace, west of London, as more than 2,800 beacons are lit at Buckingham Palace and across the UK, including atop the four highest peaks, as well as on the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and British Overseas Territories.

Flaming tributes will be seen in 54 Commonwealth capitals across five continents, from Tonga and Samoa in the South Pacific to Belize in the Caribbean.

Nine bridges over the River Thames in central London will be lit up, as will the capital’s landmark BT Tower, and several English cathedrals.

Friday (June 3)

A national service of thanksgiving for the queen’s record-breaking reign takes place at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, featuring a rare ringing of the Great Paul bell.

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Great Paul, cast in 1882, is the largest church bell in the country. Its mechanism broke in the 1970s but it was restored to its former glory last year.

It has only been sounded eight times since then, and never for a royal occasion. The queen’s attendance has not been confirmed.

Saturday (June 4)

A keen horseracing fan, the queen had been expected to attend the 243rd running of the country’s most prestigious flat-racing event, The Derby at Epsom Downs.

But she is now not scheduled to appear.

In the evening, some 22,000 people — including 5,000 key workers such as frontline medics — are expected to attend the BBC Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace.

Performers include rockers Queen + Adam Lambert, Motown legend Diana Ross and Elton John.

Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers and the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli are among others lined up for the 2.5-hour musical extravaganza.

Sunday (June 5)

More than 70,000 people have registered to host Big Jubilee Lunches, with 10 million expected to share food and friendship with their neighbours, the government said.

More than 600 lunches have been planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond, from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa to Switzerland.

The final day culminates with the Platinum Jubilee Pageant — a public parade through central London.

The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry lead the Gold State Coach — used to transport the monarch at coronations and jubilees — to Buckingham Palace.

Some 10,000 people are involved in a musical and creative display of how British society has been transformed since the queen acceded in 1952.

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It ends with the singing of the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”, outside the palace, led by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

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