Queen's Platinum Jubilee: 2022 celebrations include the June bank holiday, Jubilee beacons, medals for frontline workers and free books for kids
A year of Platinum Jubilee celebrations are set to happen in 2022 to mark The Queen's 70-year long reign.
From a bank holiday weekend of events full of parades, live music and street parties to beacon lighting and tree planting, communities both in the UK and across the Commonwealth are gearing up to recognise seven special decades of service.
When is the Queen's Jubilee?
The Queen acceded to 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.
While throughout the beginning of 2022 members of the Royal Family are due - Covid depending - to travel around the country to mark the historic anniversary, the focal point for celebrations is June's Platinum Jubilee Weekend where an extended bank holiday, from Thursday 2 to Sunday, June 5 will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the UK to celebrate the historic milestone.
The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities such as parades and street parties, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.
Bumper bank holiday celebrations
Events will begin on Thursday, June 2 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.
There will be a Service of Thanksgiving on Friday, June 3 at St Paul's Cathedral before the Royal Family are expected to attend Saturday's Derby at Epsom Downs.
A special live concert called Platinum Party at the Palace is also due to be broadcast live from Buckingham Palace bringing together some of the world's biggest entertainment stars - with members of the public to be invited to apply to be there via a ticket ballot. It is not yet available,
Sunday, June 5 will see the Big Jubilee Lunch take place, encouraging communities to hold their own street parties and celebrations, while a Platinum Jubilee Pageant is also in the planning featuring over 5,000 people from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth who will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume to mark 70 years of reign against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and its surrounding streets.
The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating royal jubilees, weddings and coronations with the lighting of beacons will also be continued over the extended bank holiday with braziers being lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
A chain of flames
Thursday, June 2, 2022 will see beacons lit around the world to mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
The Palace says it hopes the beacons will "provide a lasting reminder of this historic moment in the history of The Queen’s reign" and any communities taking part will receive a certificate of thanks to treasure.
It is thought that more than 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, and one in each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries. In the UK, beacons will be lit from 9.15pm on Thursday evening.
Communities with existing beacon braziers are being encouraged to organise the lighting of them, alternatively new designs are being launched, including a complete package which is available to buy and comes complete with everything required including the burner, pipes, lighting sticks and safety instructions. For a guide in joining the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons project click here.
Jubilee medals for frontline workers
A specially-designed Jubilee Medal is to be awarded to many front line workers as part of commemorations in 2022.
The medal, which is made of nickel silver, will feature an image of The Queen with the Latin inscription ‘Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fid Def’ which stands for ‘Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith’. It is set to be awarded to frontline members of the police, fire service, emergency services, prison services and Armed Forces who will have completed five full years of service by the February 6 anniversary.
Members of the royal household with one year of qualifying service and living recipients of both the George and Victoria Cross are also among those due to be presented with one of the medals, currently in production.
The history of awarding medals to mark royal jubilees dates back to the Victorian period when the first medal was given to mark the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign.
Plant a tree for the Jubilee
The Queen's Green Canopy initiative is designed to leave a long-lasting mark on 2022 celebrations, by inviting people to 'plant a tree for the Jubilee'.
From scouts and girl guides packs to villages, schools, charities and businesses the campaign began in October when the tree planting season started and will continue through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022. An interactive map is tracking how many trees are being planted in The Queen's name with private gardens, village greens, school grounds and city spaces all among the areas to have taken or be planning for Jubilee trees.
For more information on getting involved and how to begin planting your own tree and marking it on the map visit queensgreencanopy.org
Free books for primary pupils
Primary school children across the UK are to be given their own Jubilee keepsake in 2022 - a free book to mark the Platinum anniversary.
Commissioned by the government and designed to celebrate the people and places of the UK and the Commonwealth, the book will teach pupils about recent and historical events, inspirational people, inventions and about some of our best art, design and culture.
It is expected to cover landmark achievements such as the construction of the Channel Tunnel, election of the first female Prime Minister and the invention of the World Wide Web.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: "For 70 years Her Majesty The Queen has played an instrumental role in the events, people and places that have helped shape the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
"From the hundreds of charities and organisations of which she is patron, to the 14 Prime Ministers who have served during her reign – thousands of children will be able to read about our great nation, its history and future."