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Diamond Jubilee: Queen starts celebrations at Derby

Category: England

Published: 2nd Jun 2012 03:41:01

The Queen is to attend the Epsom Derby later, launching a four-day weekend of events for her Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen is due to be driven down the course in an open-top car, there will be a Red Arrows display and Katherine Jenkins will sing the National Anthem.

The weekend's main celebrations include the Thames pageant involving 1,000 boats on Sunday, and Monday's concert in front of Buckingham Palace.

There will be more events UK-wide to mark 60 years since the coronation.

On the final day of the weekend, the Queen will attend a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, before thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the route of a formal carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace.

The main weekend events to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee include:





The Royal Family will then make a balcony appearance at the palace.

On Friday, roads in central London were closed in the early hours as members of the armed forces and the Household Division were among 2,000 servicemen and women rehearsing the carriage procession from Westminster Hall.

And crews of the 1,000-strong flotilla that will escort the royal barge along the Thames on Sunday were briefed.

The start of the celebrations was signalled by a 21-gun salute from Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond, in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

And tributes were paid to the Queen on Friday by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Cameron said: " What I see in Her Majesty is someone - in spite of the fact she's been on the throne for 60 years, in spite of the fact that her and Prince Philip are now relatively elderly - there is an extraordinary level of physical energy, mental energy, and above all devotion to her people, to the institutions of this country, to the way our democracy works."

Dr Williams issued a video tribute to the Queen, praising her as "someone who can be friendly, who can be informal, who can be extremely funny in private - and not everybody appreciates just how funny she can be - who is quite prepared to tease and to be teased, and who, while retaining her dignity always, doesn't stand on her dignity in a conversation."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the weekend's festivities would celebrate "everything that is best about our country" and praised the Queen's "selfless dedication to duty".

Millions of Britons are expected to take part in Jubilee parties, outdoor concerts and fairs being staged across the country over the weekend.

On Sunday, in what is being called the Big Jubilee Lunch, people all over the UK are being encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends in street parties or picnics to bring communities together.

Monday's concert, in front of Buckingham Palace in the area surrounding the Queen Victoria Memorial, will see performances from artists including Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Elton John, Jessie J, JLS and Ed Sheeran.

The concert will be broadcast live on BBC One, BBC One HD and on BBC Radio 2 in the UK and to millions around the world.

When it ends at 22:00 BST, more than 4,000 beacons are due to be lit in the UK and around the world.

The Queen lights the UK's last beacon - the National Beacon - at about 22:30 BST, to be followed by a firework display at Buckingham Palace.

The weather forecast is poor for the official celebrations and street parties in the south of England.

Light rain is expected on Saturday, while the next day's Jubilee river pageant along the Thames could be doused in rain with temperatures reaching a high of 11C, according to BBC Weather.

The north of England and Scotland are the most likely areas to avoid the rain.

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BBC News, 2012. Diamond Jubilee: Queen starts celebrations at Derby [Online] (Updated 2nd Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1432421/Diamond-Jubilee-Queen-starts-celebrations-at-Derby [Accessed 22nd Jul 2014]

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