It’s the party of a lifetime — literally. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of 25. And this year, she is marking 70 years as the British sovereign.
To celebrate the occasion, the U.K. is holding a four-day bank holiday from Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, replete with parades, pageants, parties, beacon lightings and of course — a trip to the Derby.
Those of us not in the U.K. can partake by witnessing coverage of the multi-day event, called the Platinum Jubilee.
Jubilees are essentially anniversaries for an event, with each year having a different name: 25 years is a Silver Jubilee; 50 years is a Golden Jubilee; 60 years is a Diamond Jubilee. Elizabeth is the first monarch to reach the Platinum Jubilee, or 70 years on the throne.
Here’s a rundown of the most significant events. The BBC will be broadcasting the entire spectacle in the U.K., and will be partnering with ABC for coverage in the U.S., though the events will be covered on multiple news channels including NBC.
Thursday, June 2
Trooping the Color
When is it? 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to 1 a.m. local time)
What is it? Trooping the Color is a ceremonial parade that honors the British sovereign’s birthday.
While celebrations have annually for the past 260 years, this year’s Trooping the Color is special because it aligns with the Platinum Jubilee.
During the parade, the queen will travel by horse and carriage out of Buckingham Palace, down the Mall and to the Horses Guard Parade. The event will feature nearly 1,500 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians.
It all culminates in a “balcony moment,” with the queen and her family waving from Buckingham Palace.
How to watch: SkyNews will stream the event through their YouTube channel, and it will be covered on NBC News as well as other networks, like ABC.
The Jubilee Beacon Show
When is it? 4 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local time)
What is it? Over 1,500 beacons will be lit in communities in the U.K. and capitals across the commonwealth to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee. Further, one beacon will be lit in Buckingham Palace.
How to watch: BBC One and ABC News
Friday, June 3
National Service of Thanksgiving
When is it? 4:15 a.m. ET (9:15 a.m. local time)
What is it? A service will be held for the queen at St Paul’s Cathedral. Based on prior years’ order of service, the ceremony will include bible passages, prayers and hymns.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expected to be in attendance, per the Telegraph, making this their first appearance with all members of the royal family since “stepping back” from their royal duties in January 2020.
How to watch: BBC One and BBC iPlayer
Saturday, June 4
Platinum Party and Concert
When is it? 2:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local time)
What is it? After two days of ceremonial events, the first party of the Jubilee is happening!
This star-studded event has a huge list of performers. Queen and Adam Lambert will open the event — a nod to the 2002 Golden Jubilee, which saw Queen’s Brian May playing “God Save the Queen” on the roof of Buckingham Palace. Also performing are Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli and Diana Ross, in her first U.K. concert in 15 years.
Elton John will have a pre-recorded performance. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lin-Manuel Miranda will figure into the events as well, as will David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry, Julie Andrews, The Royal Ballet and Ellie Simmonds.
How to watch: 22,000 people will be at the concert — and it will air on BBC One and ABC News.
Sunday, June 5
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant
When is it? 9 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local)
What is it? The weekend culminates in a pageant looking back on the queen’s 70 years on the throne. Performers, military personnel, workers and volunteers will all be part of this engagement.
How to watch: BBC One
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