Diamond jubilee holiday weekend in June will be focus of celebrations
The Diamond Jubilee holiday weekend will be the focus of celebrations marking the Queen's 60-year reign.
The four-day break will see both grassroots community and national events commemorate the milestone.
There will also be global celebrations honouring the Queen – with Royal Family members travelling to countries such as Canada, Jamaica and Belize, where the monarch is head of state, and the wider Commonwealth. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will also visit every region of the UK from March to July to meet as many people as possible.
The 2012 Diamond Jubilee weekend will be held from June 2-5 and its main highlight is likely to be a river pageant featuring a 1,000-strong flotilla on the Thames.
The Queen's royal barge will be the centrepiece as her 60-year reign and Britain's maritime heritage are commemorated with a spectacular procession down the river. Up to a million people are expected to line the route on Sunday, June 3 to see it.
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On the same day the Big Jubilee Lunch will be held and is likely to feature traditional street parties and picnics across the country.
A televised BBC concert at Buckingham Palace is planned for the following day and is expected to feature British and Commonwealth musicians and is open to the public, with tickets set to be allocated by ballot.
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A network of Diamond Jubilee Beacons – 2012 in total – will also be lit across the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth.
As with the 2002 celebrations to mark the Golden Jubilee, the monarch will light the National Beacon.
The 60th year of the Queen's reign will be formally commemorated on the Tuesday with a service of thanksgiving and carriage procession.