Published: 05:00, 16 May 2022
The nation is gearing up to celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a four-day bank holiday weekend that will be packed full of parades, live music and street parties.
If you've got bunting at the ready - here's all you need to know about everything happening between Thursday, June 2 and Sunday, June 5 to officially celebrate Her Majesty's very special seven decades of service:
Thursday, June 2
The Queen acceded the throne on February 6, 1952, aged just 25, as a result of the sudden death of her father King George VI while she was away in Kenya. Her coronation took place the following year on June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey.
But the focal point for celebrations is June's Platinum Jubilee Weekend where an extended bank holiday, beginning on Thursday, June 2 will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the UK to celebrate the historic milestone.
Events will begin on Thursday with The Queen's birthday parade and Trooping The Colour where more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will take to the capital's streets to mark Her Majesty's official birthday, which in ordinary years is held on the second Thursday in June.
The Parade begins at Buckingham Palace and moves towards Horse Guards with members of the royal family travelling either by coach or on horseback.
Everything is due to start at 9am with the official pageant at Horse Guards and with everyone arriving by 10am. It is expected, according to the official timings on the Ministry of Defence's website, to finish by 12.25pm.
The event will close with the traditional RAF fly-past at 1pm, weather permitting, which can be watched by the public from The Mall and is expected to also see some members of the Royal Family, possibly including The Queen herself, also come onto Buckingham Palace's balcony to watch the planes fly overhead.
For those not intending to head to the capital to soak up events in person, The Queen’s Birthday Parade and fly-past is to be broadcast live by the BBC on Thursday morning say organisers.
The first big day of celebrations will end on Thursday evening with the lighting of Jubilee beacons both across the UK and the wider Commonwealth and will be the first major event of the four days that communities can join in with.
In the UK, cities, towns and villages will set to work lighting their beacons at 9.45pm.
An estimated 1,500 are expected to be lit on Thursday night on village greens, community spaces and on recreation grounds meaning that there is sure to be a ceremony happening in the UK near you.
Organisers, who will light a mixture of gas fuelled beacons, braziers or even construct bonfire beacons at other local focal points, have been given the choice this year of either purchasing a new beacon kit designed specifically for the Platinum Jubilee or bringing back to life a beacon or brazier that may have been constructed for a previous national celebration.
A principle beacon is also expected to be lit during an official ceremony at Buckingham Palace to end the first day of national events. To learn more click here.
Friday, June 3
Official celebrations will continue on Friday, June 3 with a church service for The Queen, the royal family, politicians and other dignitaries and invited guests.
The Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's Reign taking place at St Paul's Cathedral. The public won't be able to attend the event, albeit some crowds are expected outside the Cathedral to catch sight of those arriving, however it is expected to be televised live.
To mark the occasion, St Paul’s has announced a new exhibition for the summer called Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World, which explores the history of Jubilee celebrations at St Paul’s Cathedral across three centuries.
It will open on Wednesday, May 25 and looks at the Jubilee celebrations for King George III, King George V, Queen Victoria and the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Clothing, scrap books, photographs, jubilee souvenirs and other memorabilia from the archives will be among the items on display. To learn more click here.
Saturday, June 4
The first day of the weekend and it's set to be a lively and exciting one for Jubilee events.
The Queen, along with other members of the royal family, is due to start her day at Epsom for the Derby. The year's Derby Day at Epsom Downs is celebrating the 243rd running of the flat race and the stage is also set for an official commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee to coincide with the day of racing.
And then it's onto one of the biggest and most anticipated events of the four-day weekend - Platinum Party at the Palace.
The Royal Family, together with the support of the BBC, are hosting a special live concert that will bring together the world's biggest entertainers to perform at Buckingham Palace.
Promising state-of-the-art technology and a stunning set design, the event will feature a range of performances from global music stars along with a full live orchestra and actors from film, television and stage who will tell the story and celebrate some of the most significant cultural moments from The Queen's seven decade reign.
A full line-up for the much-anticipated concert has yet to be confirmed, albeit some big name stars are rumoured to be appearing, but a whopping 10,000 tickets have been given to members of the public, who have been allocated their passes through a ballot which opened at the end of February.
The show, which is expected to begin mid-evening and last two to three hours, will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Learn more here.
Sunday, June 5
While households can hold their Platinum Jubilee street parties on any day throughout the four-day bank holiday, Sunday, June 5 will mark the official Big Jubilee Lunch and this is when the majority of streets are expected to embark on a traditional neighbourhood knees-up.
The intention of the Big Jubilee Lunch, first launched in 2009, is to bring celebrations into the corner of every community by encouraging people to share food and fun with the people they live near.
Those celebrations can be big or small, consist of a street party, picnic, tea and cake or garden barbecue - but lunch events for The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 were a roaring success and significantly boosted the number of gatherings held in her honour.
Once all the food and drink has been shared, on Sunday afternoon it will be the job of thousands of people in London to see the Platinum Jubilee weekend out in style.
More than 10,000 people are being lined up to take part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant or 'People's Pageant' as it has become known, which will be one of the final events of the four-day weekend.
The huge choreographed parade takes place around Buckingham Palace, The Mall and surrounding streets and will tell the story of The Queen's 70-year reign and our changing society.
The procession, made up of military personnel, performers, key workers and volunteers, will cover a 3km route and is expected to be watched by one billion people across the globe thanks to television broadcasts planned worldwide.
The finale will form around the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace where the National Anthem will be performed and some big name starts including artist Ed Sheeran will also appear.
Adrian Evans, Pageant Master of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant explained: "A Platinum Jubilee is unique. In all our history there has never been an opportunity to celebrate a seventy year reign.
"We aim to make this a most magnificent occasion, one in which the nation can show its affection and appreciation to the Monarch. The Platinum Pageant is then, a ‘thank you’ to The Queen, a thank you from us all."