No other monarch in British history has achieved 70 years of service.
The 25-year-old Queen ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI.
The British monarch became the longest-reigning in 2015, beating the time on the throne by her great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and seven months.
In appreciation of this historic occasion, Buckingham Palace pulls all the stops. Here’s what you need to know.
What is happening?
The weekend will see a variety of public events and community activities, as well as “national moments of reflection” on the queen’s seven decades as sovereign, according to the palace.
The upcoming celebrations will be the Queen’s first jubilee without her husband, Prince Philip, who died in 2021.
The Queen’s reign has been marked by several jubilees since she assumed the throne in 1952: the Silver Jubilee, which marks 25 years in 1977; 50-year golden jubilee celebrations in 2002; and commemorating the diamond jubilee a decade ago on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of its founding.
The Queen chose to celebrate other anniversaries, such as her sapphire jubilee (40 years in 1992) and sapphire jubilee (65 in 2017), with less fanfare and no public events.
The Queen’s private estates – including Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle – also join in the jubilee-themed events.
What events are planned?
Thursday 2 June
In an impressive display of the Military Queen, he will be joined by more than 1,200 officers of the Queen’s personal forces, the Home Division, several hundred army musicians and 240 horses. The “color” – or regiment flag – would be recruited by the 1st Battalion, the Irish Guards. The procession will start at Buckingham Palace and travel down the Mall to Horseguards Parade, joined by members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages.
Upon returning from the parade grounds, the Queen and members of the royal family will appear on their usual balcony. The event will conclude with a tour of the palace.
Later, 1,500 lighthouses will be lit across the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and in the UK’s Overseas Territories. The main lighthouse will be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Lighting the lighthouses is an ancient royal tradition used to celebrate jubilees, weddings and coronations. Beacons will also be lit in the capitals of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Friday 3 June
A thank you service in honor of the Queen’s extended reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of family members.
Saturday 4th June
Several members of the royal family are expected to head to Epsom Downs Racecourse in the afternoon for the 243rd edition of the famous horse race, the Derby. The Queen, who is herself a breeder of horses, was a regular spectator at the event and even presented the famous trophy in years past.
In the evening, the two-and-a-half hour “Platinum Party At The Palace” will see a star-studded line wind up three stages in front of Buckingham Palace and the famous Queen Victoria Monument. Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys and Diana Ross are among the performers who will present their biggest hits on the show, which will be broadcast live by BBC. About 22,000 people will see the concert in person, including 10,000 who won tickets by public ballot; 5,000 tickets have been reserved for key workers.
Sunday 5 June
To cap off the festivities, on Sundays people are encouraged to organize street parties as part of the “Great Jubilee Lunch” initiative. Community gatherings are set to take place across Britain, including major events in London and at The Eden Project in Cornwall – where the idea for the lunches originated. A “Great Jubilee Lunch” has also been planned all over the world, from Canada to Brazil to South Africa and Japan.
When will we see the Queen?
It is still not entirely clear when we will see the Queen this weekend.
She will continue to play it safe for Jubilee and has not confirmed if she will attend the various celebrations.
Who are the other members of the royal family taking part in the festivities?
Most of the senior royals are expected to attend a few Jubilee Weekend events in central London. Some will also be deployed to all four countries of the United Kingdom during the four-day splendor, sending the Queen of Cambridge to Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Northern Ireland and Princess Anne to Scotland.
And after much speculation, it has also been confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their children will return to the UK to celebrate.
The Queen has decided that only members of the royal family performing official duties will appear on the famous Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Color parade on Thursday. So expect to see the Queen alongside three of her children – Charles, Edward and Anne – as well as Prince William and Kate and their children and a number of other relatives of the King.
CNN’s Hannah Ryan contributed to this report.
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