How to watch – or avoid – the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Whether you’re a die-hard monarchist or an equally passionate republican who can’t stomach the whole Royal jamboree, you’re going to want to know when everything is on so that you can watch it – or avoid it completely.
Here is a rundown of what will happen as the Queen celebrates 70 years on the throne during the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and where to watch on television, be present at events, or decide it’s safer to fire up Netflix or hide indoors instead.
The main events set to take place in Wales are the lighting of the beacon on Snowdon on Thursday and William and Kate’s visit to Cardiff Castle on Saturday.
Thursday June 2
10am – The Queen’s Birthday Parade – Trooping the Colour – begins. Coverage is on BBC One, presented by Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and JJ Chalmers.
10.30am – Members of the royal family leave Buckingham Palace in carriages for Horse Guards Parade, where Harry and Meghan the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also gather to watch the ceremony.
The military procession will be followed by a balcony appearance by the Queen, if she is well enough, plus assorted royals including the Cambridge children, to watch a special flypast.
9.25pm – Members of the royal family arrive for the lighting of the principal beacon – a 21-metre Tree of Trees sculpture at the Palace.
The Queen will be at Windsor and the Duke of Cambridge in London for the dual ceremony. Kirsty Young introduces coverage from 8pm on BBC One, with Jermaine Jenas at Buckingham Palace, Carol Kirkwood in Scotland, and Holly Hamilton in Northern Ireland. Gethin Jones will appear from Wales.
More than 3,500 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth, including one on top of yr Wyddfa. Walking With The Wounded will also light beacons on top of the three other highest peaks of the UK – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Slieve Donard.
Friday June 3
From 9.15am on BBC One, Sophie Raworth meets many of the people taking part in a service of thanksgiving, while from the BBC’s Platinum Jubilee Studio at St James’ Park, Kirsty Young is joined by guests.
11am – The royal family begin to arrive for a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
11.30am – The service begins, broadcast on BBC One with commentary from David Dimbleby inside St Paul’s.
12.25pm – Members of the royal family attend a Guildhall reception hosted by the Lord Mayor.
Saturday June 4
Senior royals tour the UK, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Cardiff Castle.
William and Kate will meet the crew behind the event at Cardiff Castle, learning about the lighting, sound and visual effects for the show before helping with the final preparations.
The couple will also watch rehearsals and meet Aled Jones and Shan Cothi, both hosting the show which will feature Mike Peters from The Alarm, singer Bonnie Tyler, West End star John Owen Jones, drumming weatherman Owain Wyn Evans and Pendyrus Male Voice Choir.
The performances will finish at 7pm and the crowds can then watch the Platinum Party at the Palace on giant screens in the castle grounds.
4.30pm – The Epsom Derby takes place. Avid racegoer the Queen is no longer planning to attend, although members of the royal family are expected to be there. Ed Chamberlin presents racing coverage on ITV from 12.40pm.
A guard of honour, made of up to 40 of the Queen’s past and present jockeys, is due to line the course.
7.40pm – Royals arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert. Coverage begins on BBC One from 7.30pm with Kirsty Young in St James’s Park, and Roman Kemp backstage.
8pm-10.30pm – The open-air show in front of the palace, features stars including Queen (not that one), Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross.
Sunday June 5
Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches will be staged in some communities.
Coverage begins on BBC One from 1pm with commentary from Clare Balding, while Kirsty Young, AJ Odudu, Anita Rani, Anton Du Beke, Sophie Morgan and Owain Wyn Evans report on street parties across the UK.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall join a feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while Edward and Sophie meet people creating a ‘Long Table’ down on The Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle.
2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a large cast including puppets – including a red dragon of Wales – celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign.
It will move from Horse Guards, along Whitehall to Admiralty Arch, and down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
The finale will feature Ed Sheeran performing and singing God Save the Queen with close to 200 celebrities in front of the Queen’s official residence.
The Queen will make a balcony appearance if well enough as the festivities come to a close.
At 8pm on BBC Two, if you want to relive it all again, Kirsty Young looks back at the weekend of patriotic fervour. If you’re a republican, you can take the earplugs out and safely watch TV live again when coverage ends at 9.30pm.
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