2012: A diamond year

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2012 is a landmark year in British history, being the year a second British monarch celebrates her 60th Jubilee. A truly remarkable woman, the Queen has seen a lot in the last 60 years. She has seen Britain completely transformed, worked with numerous governments, suffered through family tragedies and celebrated royal achievements and long may she continue to preside over Britain. To celebrate this landmark achievement 2012 has been jam packed with royal events, from lunches to walk abouts, there is plenty for everyone to get involved.

In order to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee the government has given us an extra day of work. What more could anyone want! The late May Day bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4th June and an additional bank holiday will take place on Tuesday 5th June. This extended bank holiday weekend also applies to Scotland. Some towns have also been granted the right to call themselves a city as part of the Jubilee honours. These cities are Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in North Wales.

 

Image by Jamie J Gray

The main celebrations of the diamond jubilee take place between the Saturday 2nd June and Tuesday 5th June, with celebrations taking place throughout the UK and the Commonwealth. On the Saturday the Queen will attend the Epsom Derby, the Sunday will consist of the Big Jubilee lunch and the Thames Jubilee Pageant. As part of the Big Lunch initiative members of the public are being encouraged to gather together with their neighbours and celebrate the diamond jubilee by sharing lunch. The lunch can be in the form of a traditional street party, a picnic in the park or any way you can think of to share lunch with your friends. Local authorities can provide information on events in your area and communities can apply to gain funding from the lottery fund in order to arrange an event in their area. Visit the website for more information http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/big-jubilee-lunch.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will consist of 1,000 boats assembled from throughout the world. They will gather on the Thames and await the arrival of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on a barge who will take the centre place amongst the flotilla. This will be the largest ever assembly of boats on the river and passenger boats will be carrying 30,000 members of the public. Thames pier, riverside road and bridges will be closed to traffic and there will be fifty big screens distributed so that members of the public can watch the day’s events.

On the Monday the BBC will stage a concert at Buckingham palace, tickets are available through a UK ballot and to those who are unable to get a ticket they will be able to watch the concert on the BBC. Monday also sees the lighting of the Jubilee Beacons, 2,012 beacons will be lit by communities throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Commonwealth. The Queen will light the national beacon. On Tuesday the celebrations will come to a close with a service at St Pauls, lunch at Westminster hall, a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace and a balcony appearance with a flypast.

None of this take your fancy? The Queen is doing various visits throughout the UK and royal family members will be travelling abroad, details of these events can be found on the website http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/visits-and-events.  There has also been the establishment of ‘The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award’, which recognises the work of volunteering organisations throughout the UK as well as numerous other charity events.

Britain will be spoiled for choice this Jubilee year, with plenty of stuff for everyone to get involved in. The Queen will be travelling the length of the UK to meet and greet as many people as she can and the Duke of Edinburgh will be close by her side. 2012 is a year to celebrate the Queens Landmark achievement and to applaud her for all she has done for our country and the Commonwealth and all that she will continue to do in the many years to come.

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