Queen marks diamond jubilee
On wave of popularity:
UK: Britain will mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with
four days of celebrations beginning on Saturday that include a
1,000-boat river pageant and a star-studded concert.
The queen starts the festivities by indulging in her love of horse
racing at the Epsom Derby on Saturday before she rides in a ceremonial
barge on the Thames at the centre of the giant flotilla on Sunday.
One million people are expected to line the river to see the
extravaganza of steam boats and tugs, speed boats and historic vessels.
A concert in the shadow of Buckingham Palace featuring Paul McCartney
and other top names is the highlight on Monday before the four-day
extravaganza culminates in the pomp and splendour of a ceremonial parade
Aside from the setpiece events in London, millions of people up and
down the country are commemorating the jubilee by throwing a party at
They will be making the most of the two-day public holiday granted
for an historic occasion -- the queen is only the second British monarch
to celebrate a diamond jubilee, after queen Victoria, in 1897.
Union Jacks are fluttering in streets and shop windows and retailers
report that red, white and blue bunting and even jubilee garden gnomes
are selling fast.
“It’s a celebration of what she has achieved in 60 years and it’s
also a celebration of the institution,” said royal author Robert Jobson.
“In a more informal way, it’s also celebrating your national
identity, your national pride.”
The celebrations take place as the royal family enjoys its highest
support for decades, with a recent poll showing that 80 percent of
Britons want the country to remain a monarchy. AFP