Six decades into a reign scattered with both good and bad, Queen Elizabeth looks stronger and healthier than ever. Great Britain celebrates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a series of events including an extended Jubilee Weekend from June 2 to 5, 2012.
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary ascended to the throne as Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth after her father, King George VI, died on February 6, 1952. Her coronation took place one year later, June 2, at Westminster Abbey. The second longest reigning monarch after her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and her Golden one in 2002.
She symbolises the national continuity and identity, earning the respect and affection of her people. Queen Elizabeth continues to support tirelessly numerous charities and influence the lives of individuals and communities. Thanks to her, despite turbulent times, the Crown of Britain is now in the second decade of the twenty-first century with renewed force and fresh purpose.
The Royal Family marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by travelling around the world in celebration. Prince Harry is now on a tour to Belize, Bahamas and Jamaica where he just buddied up to the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, making the Jamaicans fall in love with him instantly.
Other overseas visits, planned by members of the Royal Family to represent the Queen throughout the Diamond Jubilee year include the ones of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea; The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu; The Duke of Kent to Falkland Islands and Uganda.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have been touring the West Indies between February 21 and March 7, visiting, among others, destinations like Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and Anguilla.
The Queen herself accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh will get on a Jubilee tour across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, travelling by car, Royal Train, aircraft and the ship Leander. Their first stop: Leicester, on March 8. Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby is honoured for his town being at the top of Her Majesty’s scheduled visits. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour ends on July 25 in the south east of England.
The Royal Household launched the official Diamond Jubilee website, a comprehensive resource of information covering all the news about the Royal Family’s engagements related to the Jubilee.
The extended Jubilee Weekend will be packed with celebratory activities throughout the UK and Commonwealth.
On June 2, Queen Elizabeth attends the Epsom Derby. The next day she will partake in the Big Jubilee Lunch and The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. On Monday, June 4, BBC organizes the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace featuring artists like Shirley Bassey, Jools Holland, Jessie J, Elton John, Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard.
Gary Barlow and Andrew Llloyd Weber are set to write a Diamond Jubilee song for the June 4 concert. The two composers plan to incorporate different musical traditions into the song which will feature artists and contributors from the UK and Commonwealth.