Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

With less than 3 weeks to go, things are happening apace now with preparations for The Central Weekend to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee taking place from Saturday 2 June to Tuesday 5 June 2012.

Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee, diamond jubilee june 2012
Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate 60 years on the throne in June 2012

There has been a lot of hoopla and build up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coming up in June this year, but I wonder how many people are aware of the import of this august occassion. I wonder how many people, despite the fuss and the build up have realised that this is the ONLY Diamond Jubilee they will witness in their life-time and indeed very probably in their children’s lifetime.

Think about it for a second……the Queen is celebrating her 60th year on the throne….Prince Charles her successor is already in his 60’s, so even if he inherits the throne in the next year, he will not ever reign for 60 years. If by some fluke William were to inherit the throne in the next year, he would be 90+ before he celebrates a Diamond Jubilee, if the monarchy were to survive that long…well even if the earth were to survive that long it is highly unlikely that anyone in the next century will celebrate a Diamond Jubilee…now think about THAT for a second.

What we will be witnessing on the long weekend of the 2-5th June is a phenomenally historical occassion, only ever celebrated once before and very possibly never to be celebrated again; certainly in out lifetime anyhow.

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the Royal Crest - detail on the Royal Barge Gloriana

Personally I am thrilled to be part of this momentous and historical occassion, I am gratefull beyond measure that I am living in this marvellous city and able to attend. I thank the day the company I was working for in South Africa went into liquidation in 2001 and that my sister and her hubbie were living in Ireland at the time. This meant that I could come visit, and hey presto….10 years later and here I am.

So what’s in store? Well as you may or may not know, we will have 4 days of celebrations…and quite rightly too. Besides all the fuss and bother from folks who do not care for the monarchy, and are anti-monarchy, this is surely one of the greatest events of the 21st century (well I think it is anyway) and we should make a heck of a fuss.

This year the Queen celebrates the 60th anniversary of her accession following the death of her father King George VI in 1952.

Saturday, June 2 2012 – Her Majesty will begin the June celebrations by attending the Epsom Derby.

Sunday June 3rd – The occassion will then be marked with a triumphal river procession down the Thames: a 7.5 mile long Diamond Jubilee Thames river pageant, at high water a flotilla of over 1,000 vessels will include a mix of the historic and the modern, from rowed boats to steamers and larger motorised craft representing all parts of the Commonwealth, ships of all shapes and sizes will follow the Royal Barge as it makes it’s way along the Thames from Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge. This will be observed by millions of people lining the banks of the Thames and accompanied by the ringing of all the church bells along the route!!! phenomenal.

The Spirit of Chartwell will have top billing as the Royal Barge, carrying The Queen in the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in celebration of her sixty year reign. The Pageant, one of this year’s most exciting events, is unprecedented as the largest flotilla to be assembled on the river in modern times.

2012 Diamond Jubilee, spirit of chartwell, diamond jubilee
artists impression of the Spirit of Chartwell at Tower Bridge

On the same day the Queen will encourage people across the country to take part in street parties or picnic lunches in small or large groups in what is being described as a “few hours of community, friendship and fun” – “The Big Lunch”, an idea from the founders of the Eden Project, will aim to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours.

The bell makers have been super busy creating and making a bell especially for the event, and have had their hands full with repairing existing bells for the occassion.

June 4th : Bank Holiday Monday’s events begin with a televised Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace featuring British and Commonwealth musicians. In the evening a network of beacons numbering 2,012 will be lit by communities and individuals across the country.

2012 Diamond Jubilee, spirit of chartwell, diamond jubilee buckingham palace concert
Buckingham Palace

Among them will be church tower beacons on the battlements of the Tower of London and St James’ Palace in London, The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, at Killyleagh Castle in Northern Ireland and on top of Pen Y Fan mountain in Wales.

Tuesday 5th June at 10:00am will see a carriage procession as the Queen makes her way for a Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

2012 Diamond Jubilee, spirit of chartwell, diamond jubilee buckingham palace concert, st pauls cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral

The Jubilee celebrations throughout the UK and across Commonwealth will culminate in a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and a formal carriage procession by the Queen on Tuesday, June 5th : The Jubilee Weekend features an extra Bank Holiday for the Diamond Jubilee, with the late May Bank Holiday moved one week later, thereby making a 4-day long weekend. The government announced the extra Bank Holiday for the Diamond Jubilee on 5th January 2012

On Sunday this week my daughter and I had a glimpse of the Gloriana, moored near Richmond Bridge. The Gloriana will of course be heading up the Jubilee River Pageant….this promises to be a magical event. The Gloriana, which is covered in gold leaf, will not carry any member of the Royal Family.

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Royal Barge; Gloriana will head the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in the Thames in June 2012

for more information about these events visit http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/thames-diamond-jubilee-pageant

 

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