From Thursday to Sunday, Britain is celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, commemorating her 70 years as monarch — a first for a British queen or king.
Thousands of events are taking place around the country and the Commonwealth, and London will host a series of official ceremonies. The celebrations are timed to coincide with her official Queen’s Birthday, an annual public holiday, although Elizabeth’s actual birthday is April 21.
Where to watch it
The New York Times is covering the events for an international audience.
In the United States, ABC News is covering the jubilee celebrations on “Good Morning America” and “GMA3: What You Need to Know,” which will broadcast live from London and Windsor, England. A Sky News YouTube stream broadcasting some of the events will be available in the United States.
In Britain, the events will be livestreamed on the BBC.
The Queen’s Birthday Parade will include more than 1,200 members of the military, hundreds of army musicians and about 240 horses.
After the parade ends, the royal family will appear on Buckingham Palace’s balcony as overhead a flyover, a ceremonial flight by a group of aircraft, takes place.
On Thursday night, a beacon with a 69-foot “Tree of Trees” — made of 350 smaller trees — will be lit in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Thousands of others beacons will be lit across Britain and the Commonwealth.
A service of thanksgiving for the queen’s reign will be held in St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. Great Paul, the largest church bell in Britain, will be rung before the service.
Afterward, members of the royal family are scheduled to attend a reception at London’s Guildhall, hosted by the city’s mayor.
The traditional Derby Stakes, known as the Epsom Derby — one of Britain’s best-known horse races — will be held in the afternoon. The queen had been seecheduled to attend but canceled to “pace herself” through the weekend, according to the BBC. Her daughter, Princess Anne, will attend on her behalf.
A Platinum Party concert will take place in the evening at Buckingham Palace, with performances by acts like Elton John, Alicia Keys, Queen, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli and Elbow performing. About 22,000 people are expected to attend.
Over 10 million people across Britain and the Commonwealth are expected to join Big Jubilee Lunches.
In the afternoon, a parade featuring dancers, military displays, musicians, gymnasts, key workers and community representatives will be held on the Mall in central London. Ed Sheeran, the British pop star, is scheduled to perform in the parade’s finale.