News In Depth
Nation set for big Jubilee party
The nation is set to enjoy a weekend of celebrations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - with fingers crossed that the weather stays dry.
The four-day Bank Holiday gives the country the opportunity to gather together to mark the Queen's historic 60-year reign.
Up to a million people are expected to line the banks of the River Thames and nearby open spaces to watch a majestic 1,000-strong flotilla sail through London on Sunday.
And stars like Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John will perform at a concert the following day in honour of the longest reigning monarch since Queen Victoria.
Almost six million Britons plan to throw a Jubilee party this weekend, according to a study.
A special visual tribute will see Diamond Jubilee Beacons light up the night sky across the UK on Monday, with more than 4,000 expected to be lit here and in the Commonwealth.
A St Paul's Cathedral service of thanksgiving will be the highlight of Tuesday, ending with the Queen appearing on Buckingham Palace's balcony to acknowledge the tens of thousands expected to fill The Mall.
Prime Minister David Cameron, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and other senior royals will join prominent individuals from the UK and abroad at many of the events.
Interviewed by Parliament's The House magazine ahead of the celebrations, Mr Cameron said: "I owe the Queen a huge debt for the wisdom she has shown me over the past couple of years. Six decades of service have given her an acute sense of what matters, what is permanent, and what is in Britain's best interests.
"As her previous prime ministers have found, those insights are extremely useful. She is quite simply a remarkable person and a towering figure in our history. Long may she reign."
The celebrations begin on Saturday with the Queen enjoying her traditional outing to the Epsom Derby.
As a passionate horse breeder, she rarely misses the famous race meeting and will take her usual place in the Royal Box to study the form - but she does not bet.
The turf of the racecourse will be replaced by the waters of the Thames on Sunday when she joins Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry on the Royal Barge for the River Pageant.
Lavishly decorated with replica carvings and sporting a majestic red, gold and purple colour scheme, the vessel will be the centre of the flotilla featuring every conceivable vessel from kayaks and steam paddlers to rowing boats and skiffs.
Neighbourliness will be the catchword when hundreds of Big Jubilee Lunches are held, with many people expected to stage them outdoors as street parties.
In the shadow of Buckingham Palace, the concert in honour of the Queen will see Stevie Wonder joined by other names like Dame Shirley Bassey, Cheryl Cole, Grace Jones, Sir Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, will.i.am and Robbie Williams.
The Queen will be invited on to the stage on Monday night to light the national, and last, Jubilee Beacon by dropping a diamond-shaped crystal into a pod.
During the final day of celebrations, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is expected to pay tribute to the monarch in his sermon at the St Paul's Cathedral service of thanksgiving.
Later, events will be held in the City and Westminster before the senior royals take a carriage procession through the streets of London back to Buckingham Palace where they will watch the fly-past.
A Dakota will be flanked by two King Air aircraft, and a Lancaster, Spitfires and a Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and they will be followed by a display by the Red Arrows.
what do you think?
No the nation is not all set to enjoy the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Where I live there are hardly any flags or buntings and no parties organised. Blimey I've lived here 10 years and some neighbours haven't even spoken to me let alone get involved with a party.
excellent news don't want any of that sort of toilet going on ,thanks.
Same here Valerie, although I live in the country on a farm.....suppose me and the other folks here could string up some bunting between the cows.....haha
time to get yr own bunting etc up Valerie , and hell roast yr "neighbours "
Like your logo, Bennett. Suits you. A "petty soul tortured by Envy". In time, you might grow out of it but I very much doubt it.
wonder where you got that idea from ? what party? just glad for the extra day off and with pay!! well deserved as far as i am concerned for me anyway. selfish who cares. do you really think they do. NO!!!!!!!
Moira I work in the NHS so no days off for me
I agree with your sentiment Moira......we work hard, so I see it as a well deserved break too, although I'm getting 2 extra days....:o)....
Looks like being a girt bit cooler and a wet one too! Perhaps that is why many will not bother with open air street parties. Still, hopefully next week will be nicer - for our local annual Summer fund raising for charities events that most like to turn out and watch, participate in, or just have a good time. We maint be big with they military bands and river pageants like - but we are having the usual raft race on the local park lake! (Any Royals can join us if they wants for the price of a programme and hopefully a few coins in the collection!)
Are all you republicans enjoying yourselves ? Good Anyone like a ticket for the raffle ? first prize; a statuette of Tony Benn, a signed photo of Peter Tatchel for the runner up. Proceeds to the Palace of Westminster bar fund.
Im having a better time than the Duke of Edinburgh at the moment, thank you very much. Hope his doctor is of Chinese descent.
He doesn`t need a doctor, he threw a sickie just get out of the concert.
Looking forward to the platinum celebrations in 10 years time. The last three have been brilliant, Silver, Gold and Diamond. Long live the Queen. Love Janet x
again we have the usual royalists on here people who are quite happy to have the upper classes walk all over them. she should be made to foot the bill for all this because next week cameron will be preaciing to us about how hard up this country is and anyone who believes his verbal diarrhoae about a special jubilee fund is living in cloud cuckoo land