Millions of people across Britain — and much of the world — will be celebrating the Platinum Jubilee at patriotic street parties while live music, light projections and life-size cut outs of Queen Elizabeth herald the historic occasion over the next four days.
Events range from family picnics to a record-breaking 5000-strong street party in the North West, in what the UK weather bureau has said will be a quintessentially British summer bank holiday of drizzle and patchy sunshine.
The largest party celebrating the Queen’s record-breaking 70-year reign is set to be Morecambe Bay’s Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday, which is hosting about 5000 people at more than 500 tables overlooking the sea.
Organiser Luke Trevaskis said the Lancashire seaside town is “incredibly proud” to be hosting Jubilee celebrations.
Mr Trevaskis, who is the chief executive at Morecambe Town Council, told the PA News Agency: “This is going to be the first major event Morecambe has had coming out of lockdown, which was a very, very difficult period of time for so many people.
“It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate the Queen being on the throne for 70 years, but also to really celebrate what makes Morecambe special.
“Morecambe is so multi-cultural, we have a sense of pride in our diversity – and people who weren’t born in Morecambe have a sense of pride in the monarchy just as much as the people who were.”
At the opposite end of the country, an LED beacon will be illuminating the south coast from Hove Esplanade in Brighton, East Sussex.
The city’s mayor, Lizzie Deane, said: “The Platinum Jubilee is a historic national occasion and I know many people are looking forward to having a long weekend to spend with friends and family.”
In Croydon, south London, a thanksgiving service will be held at Addiscombe Catholic Church, where diversity will be celebrated.
Organiser Sylvia Wachuku-King said prayers will be said in six languages, while Guides are crafting a quilt representing the jubilee.
Meanwhile in nearby Bromley, a committee of seven women have planned a street party for 40 families.
Hairdresser Athina Hapeshis, 55, said her street came together as a community during the coronavirus pandemic, and they have decorated 72 trees in the area with Union Jack colours in preparation for the party.
Mrs Hapeshis, who is a grandmother-to-three and has a life-size cut out of the Queen in her home overlooking the street festivities, said residents can expect cakes, a live DJ and games for the children.
She told PA: “I remember the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and I wanted to make sure my grandchildren and all the children around here have something to remember.”
When asked what the monarchy meant to her community, she said: “Because it’s such a mix of age groups, everyone will have their own view, but it’s definitely brought the community together.
“The fact the Queen has been serving so many years and she’s a woman. The children have been learning a lot about it at school.
“We’re just waiting for the weather to say ‘Yes, it’s going to be amazing’.”
An estimated 10 million people plan to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The Department also said more than 70,000 ‘Big Jubilee Lunches’ and 200,000 more local events have been planned across the four nations.
Many official events will also be collecting money for charities throughout the bank holiday.
Across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, more than 600 Big Jubilee Lunches are planned in about 80 countries – from Greenland to New Zealand.