London gets ready for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend of celebrations

09:10 01 June 2012

The rehearsal for the state procession for the Queen

The rehearsal for the state procession for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in the Mall in central London. Photo: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Final preparations are under way for the massive weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign.

Events

Up to a million people are expected to line the banks of the River Thames and nearby open spaces to watch a majestic 1,000-strong flotilla sail through London on Sunday.

And stars including Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John will perform at a concert at Buckingham Palace on Monday in honour of the longest reigning monarch since Queen Victoria.

Almost six million Britons plan to throw a Jubilee party this weekend, according to a study.

A St Paul’s Cathedral service of thanksgiving will be the highlight of Tuesday, ending with the Queen appearing on Buckingham Palace’s balcony to acknowledge the tens of thousands expected to fill The Mall.

The celebrations begin on tomorrow with the Queen enjoying her traditional outing to the Epsom Derby. A family festival takes place in Hyde Park.

Weather

With London expected to be packed to see Sunday’s river pageant, the event could be accompanied by showers and cold conditions.

While Monday - the first of two Jubilee bank holidays - could be drier and brighter, bank holiday Tuesday could see another weather front arriving from the west, bringing more rain.

Travel

Transport for London advises motorists to avoid central London for all but essential journeys over the weekend.

London transport commissioner Peter Hendy said: “Central London will be very busy throughout the weekend and everyone intending to be in central London should use public transport, plan their journeys ahead and check before they travel.”

Traffic information company Inrix said severe congestion is likely in London on Sunday, with the river pageant closing seven Thames bridges.

Rehearsals

At dawn today hundreds of soldiers rode on horseback through the deserted streets of London to rehearse the state procession for the Jubilee.

Members of the Armed Forces performed a full dress rehearsal ahead of the spectacle on Tuesday.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment rode from the Palace of Westminster along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, then through Admiralty Arch and along the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

The route was lined with personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, Foot Guards and Massed Bands of the Household Division, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery simulated firing a 60-gun salute on Horse Guards Parade as some 2,000 servicemen and women took part in the rehearsal.

The 1902 state landau carriage, which will transport the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh from a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday and was used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day, followed behind the mounted regiment, but remained empty.

Warrant Officer 1 Paul Barker, state ceremonial training officer for the Royal Navy, said he was delighted by how well it had gone.

“It went very well this morning. We are at the right stage that we need to be at, we don’t want to peak too early but it’s everything I expected them to achieve.

“On Tuesday there will be a mixture of nerves and pride; this is a one-off event, it’s not going to happen again in our lifetime and it will give us lots and lots of memories for the future.

“We have lots of pep talks with our sailors and it’s nice to see young sailors in naval uniform on the streets of the capital.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
A man was arrested today on terror charges at Stansted Airport (Picture: PA Images)

A 27-year-old was arrested at Stansted Airport today on suspicion of terror offences, while allegedly trying to leave the UK using false identity documents.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
The Tube strike will be made a little sweeter for Londoners by some free chocolate (Picture: Cadbury)

New app Gett will deliver Londoners a bag of Cadbury Twirl bites to the office during Thursday’s Tube strike - completely free.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Fire crews gathered at the base of the Shard this lunchtime (Picture: Luke Geoghegan)

Around 100 customers were evacuated from levels 31, 32 and 33 of the Shard this lunchtime after a fire broke out in Europe’s tallest building.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
The entire tube network is set to shut down for the second time in a month, from 6.30pm this evening until Friday morning

A series of August Tube strikes seems likely as the largest rail union calls for the night Tube’s September start date to be suspended indefinitely.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Martin Lowrence

A rapist who held a knife to his victim’s throat is facing jail - and was caught when he went to talk to police at the crime scene.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could be zooming around a track of your choice!

Are you a competitive adrenaline junkie with a need for speed? Or looking for a fun family day out?

Read more
Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more