Everyone in England is hoping for a string of good weather over the upcoming four-day weekend of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, June 2-5, commemorating her 60 years of reign as monarch. But these events are not just for royals: regular citizens and even a few visitors will have a chance to join in the festivities, too.
Queen Elizabeth II is a passionate fan of horse racing, and as the owner of several thoroughbreds, she's very knowledgeable on the subject. So it's no wonder she has planned the opening day of her celebration around attending one of the classics at Epsom with several family members. Join them to root for Set to Music, the Queen's filly, running in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup on Investec Derby Day, June 2.
Fast horses, fashion, food and fun in a festival atmosphere are on tap for a full day at the races. A capacity crowd of 200,000 is expected when mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins opens with "God Save the Queen" and the RAF Red Arrows perform overhead. The racetrack is 15 miles south of London, easily reached by rail, bus or car. Plan ahead for the strict dress code,which requires that all men wear a jacket and tie and all ladies wear a formal dress and a fascinator or hat. Tickets, priced from £25 ($40) and up for the grandstands or enclosures, have sold out for opening day.
Other Diamond Jubilee events
The Diamond Jubilee weekend is packed with events. Sunday, June 3 is marked for The Big Lunch, when the United Kingdom's 62 million citizens are encouraged to plan street parties and picnic outings. Visitors will likely stumble upon a few crowds and get a chance to toast Her Majesty with a pint. That afternoon is The Thames Jubilee Pageant, the largest flotilla on the river in 350 years, complete with music, fireworks and much pomp and circumstance. Visitors holding a £5 ticket can view the flotilla from Battersea Park.
Oversubscribed by 240-to-1, ticket applications for a June 4 concert at Buckingham Palace, decided by public ballot, are now closed. That evening marks the 2,012 Jubilee Beacons, precisely timed to be lit across the Commonwealth, concluding with the Queen lighting the National Beacon. Tuesday features a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral and a Royal Carriage Procession from Guildhall through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace to greet the crowd from the balcony and witness an RAF flyover.
by Laurie Jo Miller Farr