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Jubilee travel disruption

Londoners are being warned that central London will be extremely busy throughout the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

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Diamond Jubilee London tours 'cost thousands'

Queen Elizabeth II waves to spectators as she leaves Westminster Hall. Credit: Kevin Coombs/PA Wire

The Royal Family criss-crossed the globe, at a cost of almost £1 million, to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year.

While the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh remained at home, touring the UK, their family travelled around the Commonwealth to mark the milestone.

The Princess Royal visited South Africa and Mozambique to celebrate her mother's 60-year reign, travelling on a scheduled long-haul return flight between London and Johannesburg costing just over £42,000.

For the opening of the Paralympic Games a month later, the Queen flew by chartered plane from Scotland to London at a cost of £16,000, then returned on the Royal Train for £20,000.

Regent Street celebrates coronation

189 purple and and gold flags went up on Regent Street today Credit: Press Association

Regent Street revealed a spectacular display of purple and gold flags in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II today.

Londoners and visitors received a wonderful surprise this morning when they arrived on Regent Street. A total of 189 purple flags featuring gold crowns now span the length of the street to St James’s.


Portrait bought by Westminster Abbey

The artist is Australian born Ralph Heimans Credit: ITN/Ralph Heimans

Ralph Heimans' portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, depicted standing on the Cosmati pavement in Westminster Abbey, will go on public display for the first time in London as part of the Abbey's celebrations for the 60th anniversary of her coronation.

Artist Ralph Heimans posing in front of his piece Credit: ITN

In a rare act of acquisition, Westminster Abbey has acquired the painting: The Coronation Theatre: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Australian-born London-based artist.

The Queen is depicted in an imagined moment of solitary reflection Credit: ITN/Ralph Heimans

The painting was the only official portrait of The Queen unveiled during the Diamond Jubilee Year and has to date only be shown at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

It will be on display from 2pm today until Friday 27th September.

The ambitious and large-scale, 9 x 11ft, painting depicts The Queen in a unique and highly symbolic setting - the Sacrarium of Westminster Abbey, sometimes described as The Coronation Theatre.

It is an imagined scene set at night in Westminster Abbey showing The Queen in a moment of solitary reflection, standing on an exceptional representation of the intricate mosaic patterns of the 13th century Cosmati pavement.

The Queen is pictured wearing State Dress, including the crimson velvet Robe of State, which she wore to Her Coronation on 2nd June 1953.

The Queen's birthplace to receive 100th Green Plaque

The birthplace of the Queen is to be honoured with the Westminster City Council's 100th Green Plaque. Queen Elizabeth was born at Bruton Street in London in 1926. The building is now an office. The Green Plaque is one of the ways the local authority is marking Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.

The plaques recognise people who have made lasting contributions to society. The first one marked the life of Sir Winston Churchill. Other people whose lives have been highlighted by the honour, include Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edward Elgar, Jeremy Bentham and the Bee Gees.

Big Ben gets a new name

Big Ben is re-named in honour of Queen's Diamond Jubilee Credit: PA

One of the London's best-known landmarks is to be renamed in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, following a campaign by MPs.

The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster - known to millions by the name of the bell it houses, Big Ben - will in future be known formally as the Elizabeth Tower.

Commons authorities backed the change last night after dozens of politicians added their names to a push by Tory Tobias Ellwood in favour of the switch.

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