The highly anticipated Platinum Jubilee, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s historic reign on the British throne,began Thursday with a large-scale military parade in honor of the monarch’s official birthday and will conclude in a carnival-themed pageant with over 10,000 performers on Sunday night.
Tens of thousands of street parties are expected to pop up across the United Kingdom this weekend to celebrate England’s longest-reigning monarch, an accomplishment Elizabeth achieved in 2015 after surpassing Queen Victoria, who reigned for over 63 years. Elizabeth has now reigned for 70 years, becoming queen after the death of her father, King George VI, when she was 25. Her coronation took place on June 2, 1953, and her actual birthday is April 21.
The 96-year-old queen’s health has already limited her participation in some events.
Key events for the remainder of the jubilee weekend:
Saturday: The Epsom Derby has been a highlight for the queen, who is an avid fan of horse races. However, the queen will watch the race from Windsor Castle, the palace announced on Friday. The queen’s daughter Anne, the Princess Royal, will represent the crown in the queen’s place. Anne was a competitive equestrian as a young adult and even competed in the Olympics in 1976.
Saturday night will feature a massive concert, with Diana Ross, Ed Sheeran, and Queen + Adam Lambert expected to perform.
Sunday: 16,000 street parties are expected across England, which will include a picnic lunch. A jubilee pageant will include over 10,000 performers and a “river of hope,” where children in secondary and primary schools created what they hope the world will look like in 70 years. It will finish with a performance from Ed Sheeran, who will sing his song “Perfect” in a tribute to Queen Elizabeth and her late husband, Prince Philip. He will then lead the country in a final rendition of England’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen.”
How to watch jubilee events this weekend:
People can watch major events through Good Morning America on ABC, according to Vogue. There are also streams on YouTube of certain events, and some coverage is also expected on major networks.
Saturday’s palace concert will air at 2:30 p.m. EDT, or 11:30 a.m. PDT, and is available to watch live on ABC or through BBC One. However, fans unable to watch the concert live can watch it on Hulu on Sunday.
The Jubilee Pageant will be aired through BBC One and ABC News Digital at 9 a.m. EDT, or 6 a.m. PDT.
Where are Harry and Meghan:
The royal couple promised the queen that they would be present for the official events in an attempt to keep a low profile. During the service of thanksgiving on Friday morning, the couple attended but was seated across the aisle from Prince William and Prince Charles and behind other senior members of the royal family. They also attended the “Trooping the Color” event on Thursday morning, but they were not on the balcony with working members of the royal family since they stepped away from the royal life in 2020.
The couple, and their two children, Archie and Lilibet, named after the queen’s childhood nickname, are staying at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, near the queen’s Windsor Castle. On Saturday, the couple will be at the star-studded concert with their children but will likely not be spotted during the day in order to celebrate Lilibet’s first birthday privately. It is unclear whether the queen will also celebrate her great-granddaughter’s birthday. The queen met Lilibet for the first time on Thursday, though she had seen her via video calls before the meeting.
The couple and their children are also expected to attend the jubilee pageant on Sunday night.
Other ways the country and commonwealth are celebrating England’s longest and most beloved monarch:
Multiple landmarks have lit up in honor of the queen’s jubilee this week. Stonehenge and London’s Marble Arch have projected images of the queen onto their monuments in celebration. In Australia, one of the countries in the commonwealth, over 80 monuments were lit up in royal purple in honor of the queen. Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, said he would rename Canberra’s Aspen Island after the queen.
Malaysia also celebrated Queen Elizabeth by hosting a dinner on June 2. Malaysia’s British Society also held a Platinum Jubilee Charity Golf Day, and members of the British armed forces based at Butterworth Air Base will hold a garden party with staff and families, according to a U.K. press release.
The jubilee also included a trail of 19 statues of corgis — the queen’s favorite dog breed. She has had over 30 corgis during her reign.
All 54 members of the British Commonwealth of Nations lit up beacons in a unifying honor of the queen’s jubilee on Thursday night.