Diamond Jubilee: Day by Day

  • 25 May 2012

Find out what's happening in Britain each day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend, from 2-5 June.


The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby The Derby dates back to 1780, and is still ranked the greatest flat race in the world. The Investec Derby race boasts an unrivalled roll of honour, from legendary names such as Seabird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar, right up to 2011 hero Pour Moi.

Tickets are now SOLD OUT for Queen's Stand and Grandstand on Investec Derby Day. Tickets are still available for Tattenham and Lonsdale enclosures (as of 23 May).


People all over Britain are planning to get out into the streets, share lunch and party with neighbours and friends in The Big Jubilee Lunch. This follows previous Big Lunches, taking the form of a traditional street party or a picnic lunch in small or large groups - families and communities in Britain are really getting into the spirit of it and organising thousands of parties with their neighbours!

In 2011, about two million people took part in the Big Lunch, in Britain and abroad: all the signs are that this year’s event will far exceed this number.

In London, as at the Royal Wedding, Wandsworth and Richmond are reported to be holding the most street parties, among the London boroughs .

While many lunches are private, there will be a number of large public events around the country, including two in London. One is in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, between 12pm and 5pm, a free, unticketed event which claims to be “probably the largest street party in the UK” and will include live entertainment, food stalls, and activities such as make-your-own pageant ships!

And a large chunk of Piccadilly is being closed to traffic, for the first time ever, between Piccadilly Circus and St James’s Street, and a table that sits 500 will be set out for several sittings between 11.30am and 6pm, with the atmosphere of an English summer fete. The event is ticketed – and tickets were snapped up in about 24 hours – but people can still visit the area and buy from some very special food stalls – provided by Fortnum and Mason and The Wolseley restaurant, with The Ritz Hotel’s resident band providing the music.

Outside London events include perhaps the only street party straddling a river – the Thames - between the pretty villages of Goring and Streatley, Oxfordshire

In Liverpool at least 18 street parties have been planned over the weekend so far

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, the centrepiece of the Jubilee weekend, will see one thousand boats on the River Thames. One of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river, it will include rowed boats and working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes, with boats coming from all round the UK and from overseas. They will be decorated with streamers and Union Flags, with buildings along the banks of the Thames also expected to be suitably adorned.

There will be 10 music barges and boats spouting geysers and a floating belfry, its chiming bells answered by those from riverbank churches. The music will include Handel’s Water Music and Music for Royal Fireworks, sea shanties, Beatles songs and a repertoire of favourites such as Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory and of course the National Anthem. The flotilla will take at least 75 minutes to pass any given point. Downriver of London Bridge, there will be a gun salute and the flotilla will pass through an impressive Avenue of Sail, vessels too big to pass under London Bridge, including square riggers.

The formal river procession will be between 14.00 and 18.00, starting upriver of Battersea Bridge and finishing downriver of Tower Bridge. The boats will muster between Hammersmith and Battersea and disperse from Tower Bridge to West India Docks. Near the start of the flotilla route there will be a festival in Battersea Park, while on both Saturday and Sunday there will be a family festival in Hyde Park's-diamond-jubilee/?gclid=CLz7-uyim7ACFQpd3wod7CZnaQ. (Both festivals are now sold out)

Full details on the pageant on Also see this story idea on the media centre.


The Diamond Jubilee Concert

Organised by the BBC and attended by The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family, this event will be one of the centrepieces of the celebrations marking The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The BBC and pop star Gary Barlow are bringing together some of the biggest names from the worlds of music, dance and musical theatre - including Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Elton John, Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran and Stevie Wonder.

All tickets have been allocated by ballot (only UK residents could apply). For lucky ticketholders, gates open at 3.30pm, everyone should arrive by 5pm, and they are invited for a picnic in the Buckingham Palace gardens before taking their seats round the Queen Victoria Memorial in the Mall, in front of the palace. The picnic has been masterminded by no less a chef than Heston Blumenthal

For those unable to get tickets, the concert will be broadcast on large screens in Hyde Park, St James's Park and further down The Mall. The concert begins at 7.30pm and will end, after the lighting of the National Beacon, at about 10.45pm.

More details on and on

The lighting of the Beacons

A network of over 4000 Beacons will be lit by communities and others throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, along with the Commonwealth and UK Overseas Territories to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee – doubling the 2,012 beacons which Beacon Pageantmaster Bruno Peek set as the target for the event.

All overseas beacons will be lit at 10pm (local time). Stately homes, English Heritage and National Trust properties will be lit at 10.01; those along Hadrians Wall, at 10.12; beacons linked to churches and cathedrals at 10.20; on the Channel Islands and Isle of Man at 10.21; and on the four highest UK mountains - Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland at 10.29; before the National Beacon is lit by the Queen in a central London location, at 10.30.

Britain has a long history of beacon lighting, spanning many hundreds of years - once used as a means of communication, they have since been used to celebrate Royal Weddings, Jubilees and Coronations with beacons on village greens, castle battlements, church towers, farms, beaches, front gardens, car parks and mountain tops. In 1897 beacons were lit nationally to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee while in 1977 and 2002 beacons were lit to celebrate The Queen's Silver and Golden Jubilees. More information on


Morning: The Queen and other members of the Royal Family will attend a national service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, at 10.30am, and later in the day they will travel from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace by carriage along a processional route (see full route below). The Royal Family will then appear on the balcony and watch a RAF flypast. The events will be shown on big screens in Hyde Park, St James’ Park and Trafalgar Square.

Note: for those who wish to visit St Paul’s after the service, the cathedral will be open to visitors again by about 14.30. Make sure of your ticket by buying from the VisitBritain online shop,

The processional route from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace: The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales will travel by carriages following a Diamond Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall, to be given for The Queen by the Livery. The three carriages will leave New Palace Yard and process up Whitehall, to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down the Mall, through the Centre Gates at Buckingham Palace. The Queen and Prince Philip will be using the 1902 State Landau in this procession.

For more information on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend see
For London travel information for the Diamond Jubilee weekend, check

For more information contact:

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