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Diamond Jubilee Weekend Guide 2012

The Diamond Jubilee weekend is well underway. We have compiled a "What's On" guide to the weekend.

Published: 2 Jun 2012

The Diamond Jubilee weekend to mark Her Majesty Queen's Elizabeth II coronation, 60 years ago on 2nd June 1953 is finally underway.  The bunting is being fastened into place up and down the country and across the commonwealth with over 10,000 street parties planned. With Bristol topping the party list with over 91 roads being closed to bring communities together, the extra day’s holiday is helping the country into party mood and there is a real sense that people are getting behind the celebrations.

The central Jubilee weekend’s festivities have already started with a bang in Portsmouth, with a 21 Gun salute by royal navy ship HMS Diamond. The Type 45 destroyer entered into harbour accompanied by four navy helicopters hovering above in a diamond formation.

The eyes of the world and country then focus on London, where years of planning have gone into ensuring that the occasion is marked with the pomp and ceremony it rightly deserves. The full schedule of events and links to sites with more detailed information are below:


Saturday 2nd June

On Saturday the Queen indulged her passion for horse racing at the Epson Derby which dates back to 1780 and is still ranked as the greatest flat race in the world.  http://www.epsomdowns.co.uk/racing/investec-derby-day

Sunday 3rd June

Whilst the main events start on Sunday 3rd June 2012, when over one thousand boats will muster on the River Thames in preparation for Her Majesty The Queen to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

It will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river and the largest for over 350 years. Rowed boats and working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes will be beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Flags, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs. The armed forces, fire, police, rescue and other services will be afloat and there will be an exuberance of historic boats, wooden launches, steam vessels and other boats of note.

The Pageant route is approximately 7 miles (11 kilometres) long. The full route, including the mustering and dispersal areas, is approximately 13.9 miles (22.4 kilometres). It will take the flotilla approximately 75 minutes to pass any static point along the route.


The formal river procession will be starting upriver of Battersea Bridge and finishing downriver of Tower Bridge. For those looking to catch a glimpse of the floating cavalcade, the timings are as follows:

2.25pm: Battersea Bridge

2:30pm: The Queen embarks the Royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, near Albert Bridge 

2.45pm: Albert Bridge

3pm: Chelsea Bridge

3.10pm: Vauxhall Bridge

3.25pm: Westminster Bridge

3.30pm: Waterloo Bridge

3.40pm: Blackfriars Bridge

3.45pm: Southwark Bridge

4pm:  London Bridge

4.15pm:  Tower Bridge - The Royal Barge comes alongside HMS President (Royal Naval Reserve Unit)

Downriver of London Bridge, there will be a gun salute and the flotilla will pass through a spectacular Avenue of Sail (http://www1.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/AvenueOfSail.aspx) made by traditional Thames sailing boats, oyster smacks, square riggers, naval vessels and other impressive ships.

Across the river on Saturday in London’s Battersea park, the Diamond Jubilee Festival will be well underway, the tickets for which have long since sold out.



Monday 4th June

Monday 4th June is the Queens official birthday, and what a fitting way to celebrate with a music concert in the splendid surroundings of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham palace. The BBC and British pop star Gary Barlow of Take That have brought together talent from the rich world of British and commonwealth music. The line up includes some of the queens favourites such as Sir Elton John, Sir Tom Jones, Jools Holland, Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney to name just a few. For those who weren’t luck enough to get one of the 10,000 tickets, the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace will be televised and will start around 7:30pm.


At around 22:30pm (BST), the queen will light the national beacon outside Buckingham palace. This will trigger a further 4000 beacons being lit across the country and commonwealth. Find your nearest jubilee beacon, with the beacon map:  http://www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk/


Tuesday 5th June

On Tuesday 5th June, the Diamond Jubilee weekend will culminate with a day of celebrations in central London, including a service at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by two receptions, a lunch at Westminster Hall, a Carriage Procession to Buckingham Palace and finally a Balcony appearance, Flypast, and Feu de Joie

The timings are as follows:

10:15am: The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace by Car

10:30am – 11:30am: The Queen attends a service of Thanks Giving at St Pauls Cathedral

14:20pm: Carriage procession through the streets of London, from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace. The Queen attends a service of Thanks Giving at St Pauls Cathedral

15:25pm: The Royal Family will appear on the Balcony at Buckingham palace, a flypast

See the rehearsal at: http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16237182


For more information visit: