Queen Elizabeth is one of the longest reigning British monarchs




The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II is the international celebration throughout 2012 marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. She is today queen regnant of 16 sovereign states, 12 of which were British colonies or Dominions at the start of her reign.

Queen Victoria in 1897 is the only other monarch in the histories of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and a few other Commonwealth realms to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee. Following the tradition of jubilees past, a Diamond Jubilee medal is being awarded in various countries and holidays and events will be held throughout the Commonwealth. Plans were discussed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011.



The Queen happy during a reception at Windsor castle


The Queen happy during a reception at Windsor castle


Commonwealth-wide and beyond




"In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship, and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth."


At the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron announced the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which was officially launched in the UK on 6 February 2012. Chaired by former British prime minister Sir John Major, the trust is intended to support charitable organisations and projects across the Commonwealth of Nations, focusing on areas such as cures for diseases and the promotion of all types of culture and education. In early 2012, the Prime Minister of Australia announced the Australian Crown-in-Council would make an A$5.4 million contribution to the Diamond Jubilee Trust. The New Zealand Crown-in-Council later made a $1 million donation to the fund. The Canadian government announced in April that former prime minister Jean Chrétien would be Canada's representative to the trust.



Queen Elizabeth in 2007


Queen Elizabeth in 2007



The first major event of the jubilee celebrations was the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, also branded The World Comes to Windsor, a cavalcade held at Windsor Castle to celebrate the Queen's visits to and tours of over 250 countries and her passion for horses. The show, which featured 550 horses and 1,100 performers from around the world, was performed on 10, 11, and 13 May, in the evenings after the daytime events of the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show. The Queen attended the final night.

On 18 May, the Queen hosted an informal lunch at Windsor Castle for more than twenty current or former monarchs from other countries. In the evening of the same day, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall hosted a dinner which most of the monarchs also attended, although the Queen herself was not present. Criticism was directed at the presence of the King of Bahrain at the lunch, because of alleged repression of protests against the government of Bahrain in that country in 2011. Protesters against the King assembled outside Buckingham Palace during the dinner, although he did not attend that event.

To mark the anniversary of the Queen's accession, the lighting on 4 June of thousands of beacons across the Commonwealth is planned. The number of beacons was originally set at 2,012; by the closing date for registrations, approximately 4,000 had been submitted in the United Kingdom alone. The first will be lit in Tonga; Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and many Caribbean states will also take part. In the United Kingdom, British servicemen and women wounded in battle and individuals representing charities will carry beacons to the summits of the UK's four highest peaks. One will be lit at Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park in Kenya, where the Queen was at the moment of her accession to the thones. The Queen will light the final beacon at 10:30pm, outside Buckingham Palace, by inserting a large, specially made, diamond-cut crystal into a receptacle.

A luncheon for Commonwealth heads of state and government is also to take place in London. In February 2012, a senior advisor was quoted as saying the Queen set two guidelines for the planning of her jubilee: the use of public funds should be minimised, and people should not "be forced to celebrate."





God save the Queen






Quentin Bryce, the Governor-General of Australia, announced that the Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated "with a host of national and community events throughout the Commonwealth." In that vein, it was said in late 2011 that the government of Queensland was planning to declare a holiday in June 2012 to mark the jubilee and that Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, would tour the country.

The Royal Australian Mint announced in August 2011 that it will be releasing a silver proof 50-cent coin to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

A special ecumenical service to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne was conducted in St James' Church, Sydney. The invited preacher was Cardinal George Pell and the Governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir, was the guest of honour.

Paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia in the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra on 6 February 2012, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated the Queen was a revered figure in Australia. Gillard also announced that she would on 4 June light a beacon atop Parliament House and a street in the parliamentary triangle in Canberra would be renamed Queen Elizabeth Terrace.


The Queen radiant in her tiara and pearls


The Queen radiant in her tiara and pearls




The Parliament of Barbados, where the Earl of Wessex read to a joint sitting of the legislature a message from Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados, on 23 February 2012, to mark the Queen's diamond jubileeTo mark Elizabeth II's 60 years as Barbados' monarch - as Queen of the United Kingdom between 1952 and 1966 and as Queen of Barbados thereafter - the country hosted the Earl and Countess of Wessex between 23 and 24 February. The tour began with Their Royal Highnesses arriving, aboard RFA Fort Rosalie, at the Deep Water Harbour of Bridgetown. At the port, Barbadian military personnel were given inspection. The Earl read to a joint sitting of the Parliament of Barbados a written message from the Queen, in which the monarch stated she has taken note of the level of development Barbados had achieved during its 45 years of independence and called the country a model small state for others around the world. Parliamentary officials responded with thanks to the Queen for her service to the country and Barbadians and invited her to the island to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the Barbadian parliament in 2014. The royal couple opened an exhibit at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and an official state dinner and reception was held at Government House in the evening.

The following day, the Countess visited the Albert C. Graham Children's Development Centre at Ladymeade Gardens, while the Earl presented eight Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Awards to Barbadian youth at a dedication ceremony. Directly following, the couple travelled together to a ceremony to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, where a plaque was unveiled at the Kensington Oval cricket stadium. Other events included Their Royal Highnesses lunching with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at his residence, Ilaro Court, and touring several areas of Bridgetown that were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2011.

As in other Commonwealth realms, a set of commemorative Diamond Jubilee stamps were released by the Barbados Postal Service. An ecumenical thanksgiving service will also be held at the St. Mary's Anglican Church in Bridgetown on 3 June and a beacon lighting will take place at the Garrison Savannah the following day, where an official Trooping of the Colour will be performed by the Barbados Defence Force and military tattoo performed by the Royal Barbados Police Force. Members of the Barbados Boys Scout Association with high honours were chosen to aid in the actual beacon lighting.



In Belize, the Governor-General-in-Council and the Belize Tourism Board organised a tour of the country by Prince Harry, between 2 and 3 March 2012, as part of the country's celebrations of Elizabeth II's 60th year as monarch of Belize, first as Queen of the United Kingdom and then, after 1981, as Queen of Belize. Harry visited Belmopan and San Ignacio and ceremonies and events had less emphasis on state protocol. In the capital, Harry unveiled a series of commemorative stamps issued by the Belize Postal Service, attended the city's street festival, and dedicated a street as Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard, where he delivered a speech on the sovereign's behalf. The following day, the Prince journeyed to the OAS Adjacency Zone on the Belize-Guatemala border, where he participated in a cultural programme and toured an immigration facility. He also visited Xunantunich and there met children involved with the Belize Special Olympics Programme and presented a canoe to the Ruta Maya Organization in commemoration of the diamond jubilee. Harry further visited the Price Barracks, where he met members of the Belize Coast Guard Service and Belize Defence Force and laid a wreath at the monument to British soldiers killed while on service in Belize.




God save the Queen at 85








Forethought about the anniversary began as early as April 2007, when then-Secretary of State for Canadian Heritage (now Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) Jason Kenney requested that the various lieutenant governors begin preparations for the jubilee. Three years later, the question of a national holiday to mark the jubilee was raised in the media and a series of official announcements were made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, one being that a new painted portrait of the Queen, the first since 1976, would be completed by an Ontario artist by 2012.


The Secretary to the Queen, Kevin S. MacLeod, was charged by the Governor General-in-Council to head the Diamond Jubilee Committee (DJC) - a 14-member group of individuals drawn from the provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organisations, officials from the Departments of Citizenship and Immigration, National Defence, and Canadian Heritage (DCH), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is overseeing the organisation of the country's fêtes for Elizabeth II's 60 years as Queen of Canada. Similarly, Premier of Alberta Ed Stelmach in February 2011 tasked the Alberta Chief of Protocol and the Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to form and head a committee to develop plans for Alberta's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. As with other royal events, the DCH will play a large role in organisation and planning. $7.5 million of resources granted to the DCH in the previous budget approved by the federal parliament has been allocated for federal jubilee celebrations, education and awareness, and distribution to community groups; $2 million is for events in the Queen's honour and $3.7 million is allocated for the Diamond Jubilee medal. The total amount was reduced by Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore from the DJC's original estimate of $8.8 million.



A corbel within the Sovereigns' Arches of the federal parliament's Senate foyer was sculpted into a rendition of the Queen and unveiled on 9 December 2010 by Governor General of Canada David Johnston. The Royal Canadian Mint also issued an "extensive set" of coins to mark the anniversary.

During her tour of Canada in mid-2010, the Queen on 3 July dedicated the Queen Elizabeth II Gardens outside her official residence in Manitoba and there planted an Amber Jubilee Ninebark shrub, the species having been created specifically for the Diamond Jubilee. At Rideau Hall in Ottawa, she also on 30 June unveiled a commemorative stained glass window showing herself and Queen Victoria with their respective royal cyphers and renditions of the Centre Block of the Canadian parliament during the reign of each monarch. The window, a gift from the Senate, was installed above the Senate entrance to the Centre Block and dedicated by the Governor General on 7 February 2012.

Diamond Jubilee Week 

The Royal Standard of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, which was flown at various locations across Canada during Diamond Jubilee WeekA Diamond Jubilee Week began on Accession Day (6 February) 2012. That day, the Queen's personal standard for Canada was unfurled in Ottawa, both at the monarch's residence there, Rideau Hall, and on Parliament Hill, as well as at provincial royal residences and legislatures across the country; permission was granted by the Queen to break the usual protocol of flying the banner only where the sovereign is personally present. At noon on the same day, the Peace Tower carillon played a tribute to the Queen. The Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada issued statements commending the Queen for her six decades of "dedicated service to our country, to the Commonwealth and to the world."

Also on 6 February, the first of the 60,000 Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to be distributed to citizens and permanent residents were handed out; 60 individuals were given theirs personally by the Governor General at Rideau Hall. Federal Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Plamondon, along with other members of the Quebec separatist Bloc Québécois, refused his medal and stated the money being spent by the Crown on jubilee events and markers was a waste. Citizens for a Canadian Republic claimed that day that the government's spending of money on the Queen's jubilee was to be expected "from the personality cult dynasties of North Korea or Syria, not Canada." The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society claimed it will stage "counter-celebrations".

In Nova Scotia, the provincial government announced the establishment of educational programmes, related to the Queen and her role in Canadian government, and the one-time award of the $2000 Diamond Jubilee Award Scholarship to 60 Grade 12 students in the province. There and in other provinces, various events were held on Accession Day and other days during the week.

After the end of Diamond Jubilee Week, further governmental events took place in Canada and abroad: At the opening of the British Columbia legislature on 14 February, the province's lieutenant governor, Steven Point, along with Premier Christy Clark and parliamentary officials, presided over a ceremony at the parliament buildings that marked the Diamond Jubilee. The Speaker of the Senate, Noël Kinsella, and Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer, were received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 21 February 2012, where they presented a loyal address to the sovereign. And Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David Onley mounted at the viceregal suite at the Ontario Legislative Building an exhibition entitled 60 in 60, to "show six decades of Her Majesty's devotion and service to Canada."


Prince Charles tour of Canada for the Diamond Jubilee


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, speaks to his Canadian equerry outside of the Ontario Legislative Building during his tour of Canada for the Diamond Jubilee



Royal tour 


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, toured parts of the country in May, making stops in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. In an editorial he wrote for The Globe and Mail, Charles stated he wanted his activities during the tour to reflect the jubilee's "central theme of service to others" and expressed that he was "returning to Canada in this special Jubilee year, to renew my own pledge of service and to encourage others to consider how they might contribute their own particular talent." In that vein, he in all three provinces visited with people associated with his organisation The Prince's Charities Canada and presented Diamond Jubilee Medals to recipients.

The couple arrived at Saint John Airport on the evening of 20 May. The following day, they were formally welcomed to Canada by the Governor General and met at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown with young Canadian Forces veterans and mentors involved in the Military Entrepreneurship program before moving on to Saint John. There, they undertook a walking tour of Prince William Street to observe heritage projects and meet the 2002 Committee for the Prince of Wales Municipal Heritage Leadership Prize, participated in a citizenship ceremony, attended Victoria Day events, and opened the Diamond Jubilee IT Centre at Hazen-White-St. Francis School. They then flew on to Toronto to meet with emergency workers and their families and observe the annual fireworks show at Ashbridges Bay that marks Victoria Day and the Queen's official Canadian birthday.

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building, the centenary of which was marked by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as part of their Canadian Queen's Diamond Jubilee tourOn 22 May, the couple attended an event at Queen's Park, hosted by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. After, the Duchess of Cornwall visited The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, of which she is colonel-in-chief, laying at the armoury a wreath in memory of fallen Canadian soliers, while the Prince of Wales saw the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University, toured the construction site of the athletes' village for the 2015 Pan American Games (where Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty announced a portion of Front Street running through the village would be named Diamond Jubilee Promenade), visited the Yonge Street Mission, and met with the national leadership of the Assembly of First Nations. The couple also attended a luncheon hosted by the government of Ontario and participated at Fort York in a Canadian Forces event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the Prince there wearing his uniform of a lieutenant-general of the Canadian Army.

They arrived in Regina on 23 May and marked the centenary of Saskatchewan's legislative building, participated in a reception held by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan at Government House, toured the First Nations University of Canada, and visited an environmentally friendly water purification plant. In the evening, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Depot Division Drill Hall a performance of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, of which Prince Charles is patron. There, the Prime Minister announced that Charles was to be appointed Honorary Commissioner of the RCMP, taking the post from his mother, the Queen, who was to become the RCMP's Commissioner-in-Chief.

New Democratic Party MP Pat Martin, an open anti-monarchist, stated in the House of Commons that the tour was "a bread-and-circuses routine" intended to distract from cuts to the federal civil service. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore, said the tour would be the "least expensive for taxpayers" of those that had taken place since 2009.

Further events


After performing in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle, members of the equestrian Musical Ride of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on 23 May, at the Queen's request, took part in the Changing of the Guard as they formed the Queen's Life Guard outside Buckingham Palace for 24 hours. Said by the contingent's commander to be a "way for Canada and the Mounties to salute her Majesty the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year", it was the second time the RCMP had performed the task, the first being in 1897 (when the force was named the Northwest Mounted Police), as a part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria.



The Royal British Columbia Museum will mount, between 1 June and 3 September, an exhibition of approximately 100 Cecil Beaton photographs of Elizabeth II throughout her life. The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan will hold a garden party at Government House on Canada Day and a conference on the Canadian Crown will be conducted on 25 October. Communities across Canada are also planning events to mark the jubilee.

A team of Canadian and British mountaineers plan to reach the summit of Mount Barbeau, in Canada's arctic, by 3 June and there hold a tea party in celebration of the jubilee. From the summit, they are to send a loyal greeting to the Queen via satellite, to which the monarch has promised to reply.



Prince Harry toured Jamaica between 5 and 8 March 2012, participating in various events marking his grandmother's Diamond Jubilee as Jamaica's queen regnant, first as Queen of the United Kingdom, between 1952 and 1962, and subsequently as Queen of Jamaica (Jamaica will also thus be concurrently celebrating 50 years of independence). During the tour, the Prince partook in military exercises with the Jamaica Defence Force, visited Bustamante Hospital for Children and, in Trelawny Parish, visited Water Square, Falmouth Pier, and the William Knibb Baptist Church, where he paid respect at the William Knibb memorial. The Prince attended an event for the charity Rise Life, ran with Usain Bolt at the latter's training ground at the University of the West Indies, Mona. There, he was also named an Honorary Fellow of the university. A Jamaica Night reception was held at the Royal Caribbean Hotel in Montego Bay and Governor-General of Jamaica Sir Patrick Allen hosted a dinner at King's House as a combined celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence. The Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, stated the tour was intended to "highlight the country's tourism developments on the North Coast and the important work being done in the area of youth and children."

New Zealand


In New Zealand, the Clerk of the Executive Council, Rebecca Kitteridge is overseeing the organisation of that country's celebrations of Elizabeth's 60 years as Queen of New Zealand.

Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Governor-General of New Zealand, unveiled New Zealand's Diamond Jubilee emblem and announced a full programme would be announced in due course. New Zealand Post and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced in January 2012 the release a silver proof dollar coin to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the following month the Ministry for Culture and Heritage added Crown-related entries to Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and an essay on the jubilee to NZ.History.net.nz. The Governor-General-in-Council also launched, via the Ministry of Health, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Research Grant, "seeking to purchase research projects that transfer knowledge from initiatives with proven effectiveness, into practice in the health sector."


The Royal Standard of Canada




The official emblem of the Queen of Canada's Diamond Jubilee



Oueen's Diamond Jubilee, 60 years on the throne


The United Kingdom's Diamond Jubilee logo




The Prime Minister, John Key, moved a motion in the House of Representatives congratulating the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee on 7 February.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will tour New Zealand on behalf of the Queen in November.

Oceanic realms


Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Other Caribbean and West Indies realms


The Queen's realms throughout the Caribbean and West Indies are planning a number of Diamond Jubilee events. Using RFA Fort Rosalie, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will visit other Caribbean realms, including: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Saint Lucia.

Prince Harry toured The Bahamas. There, he attended a reception for youth leaders and met with Governor-General of the Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes. The Prince attended an outdoor ceremony where children's schools, clubs, and associations presented themselves and delivered a speech at Government House, where he stated "I stand before you with a deep sense of pride at being asked to convey to you a message of good wishes from The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee." He also took part in maritime exercises organised by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and toured Harbour Island.

Historical re-enactments were put on in Saint Kitts and Nevis for the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who arrived on 3 March 2012. There, the couple met with Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, and other dignitaries, watched cultural shows (which included the performance of a calypso song about the Queen), and the Earl unveiled a plaque commemorating the Diamond Jubilee and officially designated the Basseterre Valley Park as the Royal Basseterre Valley Park. They also visited Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park and the children's ward of the JNF Hospital and the Children's Home before attending a state dinner and fireworks display at Port Zante.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in Saint Lucia on 21 February 2012 and there participated in Independence Day celebrations and attended receptions held by the Governor-General of Saint Lucia. They also visited the Association of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia School of Music.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Committee was established to oversee events staged to mark, between February and June 2012, the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II's accession as queen regnant of the country, from 1952 to 1979 as Queen of the United Kingdom and thereafter as Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The committee head, former Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste, stated the aim was to "showcase what we have to offer, as well as our loyalty to the Parliament..." The Earl and Countess of Wessex, aboard RFA Fort Rosalie, arrived for their tour of country on 25 February and visited the restored Botanic Gardens St. Vincent and planted a Pink Poui tree, attended an official lunch at Government House, and planted Royal Palms on the Grenadines.

Trade unionist Noel Jackson said he heard displeasure expressed by Vincentians towards the royal tour and that "a lot of people were cursing." Senator Julian Francis, the General Secretary of the governing Unity Labour Party, stated the public reaction to the presence of the royal couple "confirmed to me that we could not have won the 2009 referendum on a republic. The outpouring of the people in St. Vincent to come and greet Prince Edward yesterday confirmed to me that people, in the majority in St. Vincent, still want the monarchy... It was like a carnival in town yesterday."

A Diamond Jubilee Lecture has been set to be delivered in March, a flower show and tea party will be held at Government House on 4 and 5 May, a stamp exhibition will be mounted at the National Trust headquarters and an exhibition of photographs of the Queen in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the National Public Library. A Queen's Birthday parade will take place, as will a Diamond Jubilee Beacon Event on 4 June, part of the wider plan to light such beacons at the same time across the Commonwealth.





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United Kingdom 




In the United Kingdom, national and regional events to mark the Diamond Jubilee are being coordinated by the Queen-in-Council and her Royal Household at Buckingham Palace. As with the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for co-ordinating the Cabinet-led aspects of the celebrations. Events are being planned so as to keep the use of tax money to a minimum; most funds used to fund celebrations are being drawn from private donors and sponsors. Only the cost of security is to be borne by Her Majesty's Treasury. The British logo for the Diamond Jubilee was selected through a contest held by the BBC children's programme Blue Peter; the winning design, announced in February 2011, was created by ten-year-old Katherine Dewar.

Extended weekend


On 5 January 2010, the Lord President of the Council and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced that an extra bank holiday would take place on Tuesday, 5 June 2012. By moving the Spring Bank Holiday (the last Monday in May) to 4 June, this will result in a four-day holiday in honour of the Diamond Jubilee, coinciding with the Queen's Official Birthday in the United Kingdom, also on 4 June.] As national holidays are a devolved matter, Scotland's first minister confirmed that the bank holiday would be held on 5 June in Scotland. Some economists later theorised that the holiday could reduce the country's gross domestic product by 0.5% in the second quarter of the year, though this would be partially offset by increased sales for the hospitality and merchandise sectors.


A public bus in Warrington in a special livery for the Diamond Jubilee


A public bus in Warrington in a special livery for the Diamond Jubilee




Many events will be staged in London during the bank holiday weekend. The River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be held on 3 June; a maritime parade of 1,000 boats — the largest flotilla to be seen on the river in 350 years — together with other celebrations along the river banks. The Diamond Jubilee Concert, with a preceding, afternoon picnic in the palace gardens for the 10,000 concert ticket holders,will be held the following day, in front of Buckingham Palace, and will feature acts representing each decade of the Queen's 60 year reign. Street parties can be permitted to take place across the country.[129] Special community lottery grants, called The Jubilee People's Millions, are being offered by the Big Lottery Fund and ITV.

The final day of the official Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations includes a morning Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, attended by the Queen and members of the royal family. Will Todd’s anthem The Call of Wisdom, commissioned especially for this event, will be performed by the Diamond Choir made up of about 40 children from all around the UK.

The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic criticised the allocation of funds for jubilee events while cuts were made elsewhere, warned that schools could be in breach of the law by celebrating the jubilee without teaching about republican perspectives, and accused the BBC of bias in favour of the Queen. The group plans a protest at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Permanent tributes


To mark the jubilee, the Queen has bestowed Royal Borough status on Greenwich, in south-east London. In addition, a competition was held to grant in 2012 city status to towns and either a lord mayoralty or lord provostship to one city. City status was awarded to Chelmsford in England, Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in Wales. Armagh was awarded the Lord Mayoralty. The Olympic park in East London, created for the 2012 London Olympics, will be named the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following the Olympics. Further, the Woodland Trust has made plans to establish 60 Jubilee woodlands during 2011 and 2012, one of which is to be 500 acres and the remainder 60 acres each.

Other events


On Accession Day, 6 February, a 62-gun salute was mounted on the banks of the River Thames, near the Tower of London and the Queen made a visit to Norfolk, one of the first places the monarch visited after acceding to the throne. Later in the month, Queen Elizabeth attended a multi-faith (Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian) reception held at the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace, in honour of the jubilee.

The Queen addressed both houses of parliament in Westminster Hall on 20 March 2012. Also in March, the Royal Commonwealth Society launched the Jubilee Time Capsule to mark the jubilee. The British Broadcasting Corporation and Andrew Marr created the television documentary The Diamond Queen, in which various members of the Royal Family and current and former politicians spoke about the sovereign and her life. The documentary was criticised by the campaign group Republic, which argued that it breached BBC guidelines on impartiality.

At Buckingham Palace, a display of the Queen's diamonds will be opened to the public. On 4 June, the bells in each of the 34 church bell towers along the River Welland valley will ring in succession, ending with the ringing of the bell at Fosdyke 60 times.

On 19 May, the Queen attended the Diamond Jubilee Armed Forces Parade and Muster, the British Armed Forces' own tribute to the monarch, in Windsor Castle and nearby Home Park. The first time all three services had assembled for the Queen for such an event at the same time, it featured military reviews and a 2,500 strong military parade through the town, as well as a military flypast featuring 78 aircraft.

Overseas territories


Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, toured the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in March 2012. On Montserrat, he met participants in the Sailability BVI programme, including Special Olympics medallists, and staff and associates of the Eslyn Henley Ritchie Learning Centre, BVI Technical and Vocational Institute, BVI Services, and the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will visit the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, between 11-13 June 2012, and Montserrat. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation expressed "upset and concern" about the couple's tour of Gibraltar, which Spain claims as Spanish territory.


Other Commonwealth countries


Visits are planned by Princess Anne to Zambia and Mozambique, while the Duke of Gloucester will make official visits to Uganda and Malta. In Asia, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, will visit India, while Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will make visits to Malaysia and Singapore.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited Trinidad and Tobago, as did Governor General of Canada David Johnston.






Diamond Jubilee celebration








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