From Thursday to Sunday, Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Celebration, celebrating her 70th year as monarch – a first for a British queen or king.
Thousands of events are taking place across the country and the Commonwealth, and London will host a series of official ceremonies. The celebration was arranged to coincide with the Queen’s official birthday, an annual holiday, although Elizabeth’s actual birth date is April 21.
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The New York Times covers events for an international audience.
In the US, ABC News is covering the celebrations on “Good Morning America” and “GMA3: What You Need to Know,” which will broadcast live from London and Windsor, England. A Sky News YouTube stream featuring some of the events will be available in the US.
In the UK, events will be broadcast live on the BBC.
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The Queen’s Birthday Parade will include more than 1,200 members of the military, hundreds of military musicians and around 240 horses.
After the parade is over, the royal family will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as an overpass, a ceremonial flight by a group of planes, takes place.
On Thursday night, a 69-foot “Tree of Trees” lighthouse – made from 350 smaller trees – will be lit during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Thousands more beacons will be lit across Britain and the Commonwealth.
A service of thanksgiving for the queen’s reign will be held at St. Paul in central London. The Great Paul, the largest church bell in England, will be rung before the service.
Afterwards, members of the royal family are expected to attend a reception at London’s City Hall, hosted by the city’s mayor.
The traditional Derby Stakes, known as the Epsom Derby – one of Britain’s most famous horse races – will be held in the afternoon. The Queen had been scheduled to attend but canceled to “advocate on her own” until the weekend, according to the BBC. Her daughter, Princess Anne, will attend on her behalf.
The Platinum Party concert will take place in the evening at Buckingham Palace, with artists such as Elton John, Alicia Keys, Queen, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli and Elbow performing. About 22,000 people are expected to attend.
More than 10 million people across Britain and the Commonwealth are expected to take part in the Jubilee Lunch.
In the afternoon, a parade including dancers, military performers, musicians, gymnasts, key workers and community representatives will be held at the Mall in the center. London. Ed Sheeran, British pop star, is expected to perform in the parade’s finale.