ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports on the significance of the celebrations scheduled to mark the Monarch's 70 years on the throne as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
With the Queen’s 70th anniversary as Monarch now less than four weeks away, Buckingham Palace has unveiled the full programme of events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
The Queen will officially mark the jubilee date on 6 February – which is the day her father, King George VI died and she acceded to the throne.
Ordinarily, the Queen marks Accession Day privately at Sandringham – the estate where her father passed away in 1952 – but it’s unclear where she will be this year as Covid prevented her from travelling to the Norfolk estate just before Christmas.
Most celebrations will happen later in the year when the weather improves during the Spring and Summer months.
The big weekend to mark the Platinum Jubilee will be in May when the bank holidays have been scheduled to run together to create a four-day weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June.
The events include the 95-year-old monarch opening her private estates to the public, and some of the world’s biggest stars performing outside Buckingham Palace.
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But given the Queen has been ordered to limit herself to light duties following her poor health at the end of last year, it is not clear which events she will attend or take part.
It means many of the Jubilee duties will fall to the other senior members of the rest of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Some of the jubilee celebrations start today as Fortnum & Mason launches the Platinum Pudding Competition - to find a new dish to dedicate to the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. Recipes will be judged by Dame Mary Berry and the Head Chef at Buckingham Palace, Mark Flanagan.
The campaign to plant tens of thousands of trees for the jubilee also continues throughout the planting season.
The Queen’s Green Canopy began in October last year and 60,000 new trees have already been planted across the UK.
From May 12 to 15, more than 500 horses and 1,000 performers are expected to take part in the Platinum Jubilee Celebration, which will be broadcast on ITV.
It will take place in the arena used by the Royal Windsor Horse show on the Windsor estate.
The first day of the special four-day bank holiday will see the Queen’s traditional birthday parade - Trooping the Colour - will take place in Horse Guards Parade.
On the same day, 1,500 town and cities across the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man will come together to light beacons at the same time. They will also be lit in the capital cities of the 53 other Commonwealth countries at the same time as the principal beacon at Buckingham Palace.
On the Friday, a Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a live concert by entertainment stars from across the world on Saturday 4 June. A ballot for ticket will open in February.
The Queen’s private estates at Sandringham and Balmoral will also be open for residents and visitors to enjoy the celebrations over the long weekend.
There will a Platinum Jubilee Pageant when performers, dancers and musicians will tell the story of the Queen’s reign in London including a ‘River Of Hope’ – made up of 200 silk flags along the Mall.
Queen Elizabeth II is already the longest serving Monarch in British history – Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years and celebrated her Diamond Jubilee shortly before her death.
But no British Monarch has ever hit the Platinum Jubilee milestone.