Friday, June 1, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee: Guide to the weekend of events

There is a lot happening in the United Kingdom at this moment, particularly in London - what with the London 2012 Olympics coming on in July and with the Torch Relay in progress, another celebration is underway, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Yes, HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years reign this year and the nation is celebrating it on a grand scale. BBC reported that The Queen is marking her Diamond Jubilee this year and celebrations reach a peak in early June with a four-day weekend of events, between Saturday 2 and Tuesday 5 June. A girlfriend who now lives in London said she will be going to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant which will be one of the highlights of the weekend celebrations.

The weekend's events schedule is as follows according to the BBC. You can download a PDF version of this guide (2.74MB), to print out and keep.

Saturday 2 June - Epsom Derby
The Queen attends the Epsom Derby on its second day. Organisers expect more than 200,000 people to attend the horse-racing event, which normally attracts 135,000 race-goers.

Sunday 3 June - River Thames Pageant, Big Jubilee Lunch
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be one of the highlights of the weekend celebrations. At high water (about 14:00BST) more than 1,000 boats traditional and modern will escort the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh aboard a specially decorated royal barge down the River Thames.

Jubilee Pageant - key times

11:30 Vessels muster between Hammersmith and Battersea bridges

14:10 Queen arrives at Chelsea Pier

14:30 Queen boards Royal Barge. Steam train, Princess Elizabeth, whistles a salute from Chelsea Bridge

14:40 Jubilee Bells mark official start of Pageant

14:45 First vessel passes under Albert Bridge

15:00 Royal Barge joins flotilla, church bells ring out

16:15 Queen disembarks at Royal Naval Reserve Base to watch flotilla pass by

17:30 The last vessel, Symphony, passes Tower Bridge. Pageant ends and boats disperse

All timings in British Summer Time (GMT +1)

A look at the river map of the Diamond Jubilee pageant:

Monday 4 June - Jubilee Picnic, BBC Concert, Jubilee Beacons
A special concert organised by the BBC and singer Gary Barlow will be held at Buckingham Palace. It will be attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family in the surroundings of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. Guests, who were granted tickets by ballot, will also be invited to attend a Jubilee picnic in the Buckingham Palace Gardens. The concert will begin at 19:30BST.

It will be star-studded concert, set against the spectacular backdrop of Buckingham Palace, celebrating Her Majesty the Queen's 60 year reign.

Tuesday 5 June - Service, carriage procession, balcony appearance
The final day of the Diamond Jubilee weekend will be marked by a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. There will be a special prayer for the Diamond Jubilee. This will be followed by two receptions, a lunch at Westminster Hall and a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, with a balcony appearance and a fly-past.

Tuesday 5 June - key times

10:30 St Pauls service begins

11:30 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are driven to Mansion House reception

12:45 Livery hosts Diamond Jubilee Lunch at Westminster Hall

14:20 Carriage procession begins

14:40 Royal Family arrives at Buckingham Palace

15:30 Royal Family appears on Palace balcony and watches RAF fly-past; Queen's Guard performs Feu de Joie

All timings in British Summer Time (GMT +1)

Route of the royal carriage procession

Weekend Jubilee festivals
- Hyde Park Jubilee Family Festival - 2 June, 3 June
This two-day family festival organised by Sainsbury's is hosted by Myleene Klass and Jon Culshaw. It features live music and entertainment on the main stage and in zones such as the Kids Zone, the Disney Zone, the Parade Ground - featuring the White Helmet Motorcycle Display Team - and The Commonwealth, with Harambee African drummers and Maori Haka dancers.

Great British food - pies, roasts, pastries, fish and chips, jellied eels and cream teas - will be served.

- Battersea Park Festival - Sunday 3 June
Some 90,000 ticket holders can see the pageant from the river bank or big screens in Battersea Park which is hosting a special festival. Curated by Hemingway Design, of Vintage Festival fame, and artist Clare Patey, the event celebrates all things British.

For more information and to know where to watch/listen, check out

Useful external links
Epsom Derby

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

Interactive map - Big screens, roads and bridge closures, public conveniences

Map of Avenue of Sail

Transport for London Diamond Jubilee

Time Out best places to watch the pageant

The Big Jubilee Lunch

Diamond Jubilee Beacons

Hyde Park Jubilee Family Festival's-diamond-jubilee/

Battersea Park Jubilee Festival (Visit London)

BBC links
BBC Big screens around the UK
Diamond Jubilee Special Report



Related article:
Diamond Jubilee: The changing face of the Queen over the past 60 years
Pop royalty plays to queen in UK jubilee concert
Parade and palace wave finale for queen's jubilee


  1. this must be a grand event in the UK.. some to celebrate her 60 years of reign and some to ask when is she stepping down i guess, hahaha~~

  2. According to some poll conducted, more than 60% of the people are still in favour of the monarchy, so this Diamond Jubilee celebration is a welcome 4-day party for most in the country.

    Frankly, I'd rather the Queen continues ruling until the end. The next monarch can take over when she passes on.