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A Guide to the Platinum Jubilee Events in London

Last updated on September 22nd, 2022

Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II is officially the first British Monarch to serve for 70 years. To celebrate, the country will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee with a range of exciting events, from royal jousting at Hampton Court Palace to an undulating carpet of colourful blooms in the Tower of London. There are many royal events in London in which you can participate. Here are some dates for your Jubilee diary in London and beyond, and if you’re keen to get involved, here’s how.

Platinum Jubilee exhibitions

Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day, 1953 (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021)

March

Final of the Platinum Pudding Competition (14 March)

Will it be a trifle, a chocolate-inspired finale (the Queen is known to be partial to a chocolate biscuit cake) or a strawberry showpiece to impress head judge Mary Berry? We won’t know who wins until a later date, but you can check the Fortnum and Mason website for updates.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – 70 Years concert at The Royal Albert Hall (16 March)

Hosted by the BBC’s Sophie Raworth, this Platinum Jubilee concert will feature music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and will be conducted by Mike Dixon. Works by British composers including Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten and William Walton will take centre stage, with a focus on music played at Her Majesty’s 1953 Coronation and other key moments of the Queen’s reign. Special guests will recount their experiences of meeting the Monarch as the nation celebrates this special anniversary in our nation’s history. The event is in support of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. Book tickets.

May

Platinum Jubilee Celebration (12-15 May)

A whopping 500 horses and 1000 performers will be putting on what is sure to be extraordinary spectacle at Windsor Castle. A Gallop Through History is sold out, but you can watch the whole shebang on ITV on 15 May.

Platinum Jubilee London

Jubilation at the Museum of Brands

From 21 May the Museum of Brands will include a temporary display that will feature Royal themed products and packaging from the past 200 years. There will be a focus on past Jubilees and celebratory events such as Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation,  as well as a new display on contemporary limited edition packaging to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. The display is accompanied by a series of talks which you can book here.

Jubilee Cope

The glorious Jubilee cope is decorated with the spires of 73 churches, three Royal Peculiars and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Platinum Jubilee exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral

Alongside the Service of thanksgiving taking place on the 2 June, St Paul’s is launching a brand new exhibition. Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World. It explores the history of Jubilee celebrations at St Paul’s Cathedral across three centuries including the ceremonies  for King George III, King George V, Queen Victoria and the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors can see beautifully embroidered and ornate copes (or ceremonial cloaks) worn by clergy during special services; scrap books collected by staff and volunteers through the years, pictures and paintings from each memorable day and much more. Entry to the exhibition is included with the ticket to St Paul’s.

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at Sir John Soane’s Museum (25 May-26 June)

For centuries, Londoners have been fascinated by royal ceremony, not least Sir John Soane. In September 1831, when King William and Queen Adelaide were crowned, Soane acquired a pair of sketches showing the regal coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. The John Soane Museum will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a display of royal memorabilia commemorating coronations and jubilees, from cups and plates to hairpins and bunting. Free entry.

Register to take part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant

The Pageant organisers are looking for volunteer performers to take part Platinum Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 5th June 2022.  Were you once a jiver, punk, a disco roller, a goth or a Britpopper? Dig out your clothes and your accessories to join in the Pageant fun on the day. Register your interest here by May 1.

June

Superbloom at the Tower of London (1 June to 18 September)

From June to September, a spectacular field of colour will transform the Tower’s moat, the result of over 20 million seeds coming into flower. Expect an undulating experience against the dramatic backdrop of the Tower of London. Tickets for Superbloom can be purchased with or without entry to the Tower.

Superbloom

Max Jacquard’s glassworks will be a part of the Superbloom installation at the Tower of London.

British glass artist Max Jacquard has been commissioned by the Royal Palaces to design and cast 12 giant commonwealth symbols and one crown to illuminate the Queens Garden at the Tower of London for Superbloom.  Each sculpture will be encircled by millions of flowers with a planting scheme to attract bees, pollinators, and seed-eating birds in the heart of the City of London.

Platinum Jubilee Bloom at Hampton Court Palace (1 June – September)

Hampton Court Palace is also getting a garden makeover with its own Platinum Jubilee Bloom. Expect a more intimate experience with designs planted, grown and maintained by the Historic Royal Palaces’ garden teams. Included in palace admission.

Platinum Jubilee Bloom at Kensington Palace (1 June – September)

And last but not least, head over to Queen Victoria’s childhood palace for another Platinum Jubilee bloom. Included in palace admission.

Jubilee Joust (1 – 5 June)

Platinum Jubilee events London

Platinum Jubilee jousting at Hampton Court © Historic Royal Palaces

If medieval pomp is your thing, head down to Hampton Court Palace and see one of Henry VIII’s favourite sporting activities. For five days, knights from around the country will joust to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with the overall champion announced on the final day. Included in admission to the palace.

Trooping the Colour – The Queen’s Birthday Parade (2 June)

1450 soldiers from the Household Division and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, together with up to 400 musicians from the Massed Bands and 200 soldiers from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards will line The Mall to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday. They’re the hardest tickets to get in town, but you can enter the ballot here (open until 7 March).

Beacon Lighting Ceremonies (2 June)

More than 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, and one in each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries. These will be lit at 9.45pm including the mothership at Buckingham Palace. You can get involved with your own beacon, and there’s even a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Tart recipe you can make. More details here.

Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday (2 and 3 June)

The May bank holiday is being moved to June 2. In addition, the United Kingdom is getting an extra bank holiday on the 3 June in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee, so you can look forward to a four-day weekend.

Mary Gillick Jubilee exhibition at the British Museum

Platinum Jubilee events London

Struck bronze medal. Mary Gillick, 1952. Bust of Queen Elizabeth II r., wearing laurel wreath. © The Trustees of the British Museum

This exhibition presents the life and work of the sculptor Mary Gillick (1881-1965), who enjoyed a burst of fame when, in her seventies, she was invited to model the Queen’s head for the 1953 UK coinage. Mary Gillick’s portraits of  the Queen continued to appear on the coinage until decimalisation. Gillick worked on the portrait between March and October 1952, with one sitting and close supervision by the Duke of Edinburgh. A cameo of Gillick’s portrait of the Queen has been used on British commemorative stamps since 1966 and the original still appears on the Maundy money given out by the Queen each Easter.

Epsom Downs (4 June)

Get your hats on and head over to Epsom for a special day of racing when the Queen will be attending, together with other members of the Royal Family. Book tickets.

Platinum Jubilee Celebration at the Royal Festival Hall (4 June)

Drum roll! A concert of majestic music will be celebrating 70 years of Her Majesty’s reign at the Royal Festival Hall, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Choral Society and the Bach Choir. The concert will be presented by the broadcaster Katie Derham, Christopher Warren-Green will be conducting, and performers include Fflur Wyn soprano and Crispian Steele-Perkins on trumpet.  The majority of the pieces have been chosen for their connection to royal events and all have featured in the Coronation or a royal wedding. Book tickets.

Platinum Party at the Palace (5 June)

Catch the party of all parties on BBC when the crème de la crème of entertainers will be putting on a live concert direct from Buckingham Palace. Fancy attending? Enter the ballot here (closes on 23 March).

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant (5 June)

Are you one of those fans who will be camping overnight to catch the Pageant on Sunday June 5? You’ll need to be very lucky to get a front row view of the pomp as it travels down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Big Jubilee Lunch (5 June)

It will be one big communal scoffing session throughout the country when it is expected that 12 million people and 200,000 lunch gatherings will take place. What will you be cooking? I can announce that coronation chicken will not be on my menu…

Platinum Jubilee bank holidayQueen’s Platinum Jubilee Emblem

The Royal Household, in partnership with the V&A, invited young people to design an emblem for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.  Nineteen-year-old Edward Roberts won the competition and in June, his winning design, along with the other nine shortlisted emblem design entries, will be displayed at the V&A.

July

The Queen’s Coronation (7 July – 26 September)

Platinum Jubilee events London

Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation Dress, designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, and Coronation Robe by Ede & Ravenscroft, 1953 (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021)

At Windsor Castle, the Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate worn by The Queen for her Coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 will be on display.  Designed by the British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell, the dress was created in the finest white duchesse satin, richly embroidered in a lattice-work effect with an iconographic scheme of national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold and silver thread and pastel-coloured silks, encrusted with seed pearls, sequins and crystals.

Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate was made by the royal robe-makers Ede and Ravenscroft of purple silk velvet woven by the firm of Warner & Sons and was embroidered at the Royal School of Needlework. The goldwork embroidery design features wheat ears and olive branches, symbolising prosperity and peace, surrounding the crowned intertwined EIIR cipher.  It took 12 embroideresses, using 18 different types of gold thread, more than 3,500 hours to complete the work between March and May 1953.

Entry to the exhibition is included with entry to the palace which you can book here. You can enjoy free re-admission for a year by asking us to convert your ticket to a 1-Year Pass.

The Queen’s Accession (22 July – 2 October)

Platinum Jubilee events London

Dorothy Wilding, HM Queen Elizabeth II, 1952 (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021)

At the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, portraits of The Queen taken by Dorothy Wilding will be on display, alongside items of Her Majesty’s personal jewellery worn for the portrait sittings.

Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne on 6 February 1952.  Twenty days later, the first official photographic sitting with the new Queen was granted to the photographer Dorothy Wilding.  In 1937 Wilding had become the first official female royal photographer when she was appointed to take the portraits at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.  The series of photographs taken of The Queen in 1952 are remarkable for their modern, emblematic approach and formed the basis of The Queen’s image on postage stamps from 1953 until 1971, as well as providing the official portrait of Her Majesty which was sent to every British embassy throughout the world.

Entry to the exhibition included with palace admission. Book tickets here. You can enjoy free re-admission for a year by asking us to convert your ticket to a 1-Year Pass

Platinum Jubilee Souvenirs

The Royal Collection Trust has released a range of Platinum Jubilee merchandise you can buy including a souvenir photo book, mugs, tankards, and my favourite, the Platinum Jubilee sweet tin (£4.95) Just released is a special edition Platinum Jubilee English sparkling wine which can be paired with British hand-cut Platinum Jubilee champagne flute glasses. The label design takes inspiration from the gold embroidery on Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate, worn on the Coronation Day. A crowned EIIR cypher is surrounded by golden olive leaves and ears of wheat to symbolise peace and plenty.

Invest in one of several commemorative coins from the Royal Mint. These have been designed in collaboration with royal historian Kate Williams and include a 50p Platinum Jubilee coin.

Platinum Jubilee souvenirs

Platinum Jubilee souvenirs

Emma Bridgewater is selling her own collection of Platinum Jubilee souvenirs: from mugs, to tins, and to that one thing we all need in our lives: the humble tea towel.

Featured image: Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day, 1953 (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021)

A London arts and culture blog featuring articles about art, theatre, opera, dance, music and design.

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