Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations Kick Off; Harry & Meghan In Attendance

Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are under way this morning in London with the annual Trooping the Colour parade from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guard’s Parade to celebrate the monarch’s Official Birthday. More than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians are taking part.

Eyes will be on the iconic balcony at Buckingham Palace where the queen and 17 other members of the Royal Family are due to appear after Trooping the Colour. Only “working” royals and their children will be there, which excludes the Queen’s son Prince Andrew, and her grandson Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Andrew stepped down in the wake of a sex assault civil court case in the U.S. while Harry and Meghan have withdrawn from their royal roles and now live in the States.

However Harry and Meghan, with their children, will reportedly be at the event today, watching the parade from the Major General’s Office, which overlooks the grounds. It is not known what other celebrations they will attend.

A spokesperson for the couple previously said, “Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honoured to attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children.”

In the UK, the BBC is showcasing the events while ABC News is covering for the U.S. Good Morning America has featured special coverage all week and will broadcast special editions live from London. French news television is also covering with various other programming spread across other channels.

In total, there are four days’ worth of events featuring such stars as Diana Ross, Queen and Adam Lambert, a pre-recorded set from Elton John; and presenters including David Attenborough, David Beckham and Julie Andrews.

Britons will be enjoying additional day’s holiday from today to Sunday, while huge street parties planned across the UK.

Buckingham Palace released a message from the queen this morning:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this morning tweeted their excitement:

To mark the beginning of the celebration weekend, a new portrait of The Queen has been released:

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and French President Emmanuel Macron sent their congratulations:

This weekend, Britain will celebrate the landmark 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne with Platinum Jubilee weekend, a national bank holiday taking place from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5.

The Queen’s 70th anniversary occurred on Feb. 6, which marks the date where she took the throne at age 25 following the death of her father King George VI. Various celebrations in the U.K. have already taken place, leading up to the national holiday this weekend. The Jubilee will see a variety of public events, including Trooping the Colour, Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday parade; a Buckingham Palace concert featuring performers like Queen and Diana Ross; and a closing Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

In the U.K., BBC Studios will air special live programming of the majority of events on BBC One. In addition, BBC Studios has an exclusive agreement with ABC News to air their coverage on the network, and ABC News programs such as “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight With David Muir” and “Nightline” will feature coverage of the Jubilee. Daytime talk shows “Good Morning America” and “GMA3: What You Need To Know” will air special editions live from London of the Jubilee, beginning June 2. Several of ABC’s programs will also be available to stream next day on Hulu, such as the Buckingham Palace concert.

Here’s a full schedule of all the events taking place this Platinum Jubilee weekend, and when to watch.

Thursday, June 2

Trooping the Colour: Queen Elizabeth II’s annual birthday parade will take place in Central London for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The procession will start at Buckingham Palace and end at the Horse Guard’s Parade ground. Participants will include hundreds of army musicians, the Irish Guards’ 1st Battalion, 240 horses and over 1,200 officers from the Queen’s Household Division. The Queen and her family will make a balcony appearance at the Parade grounds to close the event. (10 a.m GMT / 2 a.m. PT)

Lighting of the Beacons: Immediately following the parade, 1,500 beacons will be lit across the U.K. and its various territories. The central beacon, at Buckingham Palace, will be lit in a special ceremony. (8 p.m GMT / 12 p.m. PT)

Friday, June 3

Thanksgiving Service: A service in honor of the Queen’s reign will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral. Members of the royal family will be in attendance. (9:15 a.m GMT / 1:15 a.m PT)

Saturday, June 4

Platinum Party at the Palace: A Buckingham Palace concert featuring several notable performers on three stages. The lineup includes: Queen with Adam Lambert, Jax Jones, Mabel, Stefflon Dun, Elbow, Craig David, George Ezra, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mimi Webb, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sir Elton John, Diversity, Sam Ryder, Sir Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Nile Rodgers, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Celeste, Sigala and Ella Eyre, Mica Paris and Diana Ross. The two-hour concert will air on both BBC One and ABC News, with the ABC News broadcast being made available on Hulu the following day. (7:30 p.m. GMT / 11:30 a.m. PT)

Sunday, June 6

Platinum Jubilee Pageant: The weekend will close with a pageant celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth II, with a team of performers, dancers, musicians, military personal and other volunteers telling the story of the Queen’s reign through four acts. The pageant will also feature a “River of Hope,” a procession of 200 silk flags with messages from children about their aspirations for the next 70 years, will parade down The Mall (1 p.m. GMT / 5 a.m. PT)

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