The much anticipated long weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations is almost upon us. You may be planning to enjoy it locally, making the most of the myriad of street parties, concerts and other fun events that have sprung up across the country. You may be making the trip into London to be at the heart of the patriotism and pageantry of this momentous royal event, where there is a packed itinerary of events to choose from: London Town Jubilee events
It is estimated that over half a million Britons will be travelling to join the celebrations in London. The Association of Train Operating Companies said that around 500,000 people would be travelling to London by rail, while a further 30, 000 are due to travel with coach operator National Express. Hundreds of thousands more are expected to travel in from overseas – Heathrow airport alone is geared up to handle 780, 000 travellers between today and Tuesday. To get people in the party mood, they will be giving out complimentary Union flags and laying out the red carpet of welcome. Eurostar is also benefitting from the influx of tourist and has reported a 30% rise in bookings for the weekend.
For those of us who will be on our holidays during the National celebrations, or for those who have emigrated to another part of the world, there are still opportunities to hang out the bunting and be a part of it all. Around two million are expected to head abroad during the coming days, with 115, 000 due to fly from Heathrow on Friday. The most popular destinations for those heading abroad are Dubai, Amsterdam, Chicago, New York and Dublin, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.
While some of the people that are departing these shores may want to avoid the fanfare of the Jubilee altogether, there are others that want to pay their respects to the impressive reign of Queen Elizabeth, no matter where in the world they find themselves. There are events planned worldwide, especially in the Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of State. There have been notable royal tours in the build up to the Jubilee that have endeared the constitution to a worldwide audience. Notable tours are the upcoming Australian tour of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and the highly successful tour of Jamaica by Prince Harry.
To celebrate the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952, thousands of beacons will be lit across the Commonwealth including Tonga, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. One will be lit at Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park in Kenya, where the Queen was at the moment of her accession. The Queen will light the first beacon outside Buckingham Palace by inserting a large, custom-made diamond-cut crystal into a receptacle. The lighting sequence will then commence until the final beacon is lit in Canada eight hours later.
A host of national and community events will be held. The Royal Australian Mint has released a silver proof 50 cent coin in commemoration. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard will light a beacon on June 4th on the top of Parliament House.
A set of commemorative Diamond Jubilee stamps was released by the Barbados Postal Service. A beacon lighting will take place at the Garrison Savannah on 4th June. There will also be an official Trooping of the Colour by the Royal Barbados Police Force.
A new painted portrait of the Queen (the first since 1976) by an Ontario artist, has been commissioned. Diamond Jubilee Medals have been minted and will be distributed. The Royal British Columbia Museum are staging an exhibition of Cecil Beaton photographs of the Queen throughout her life, between 1st June and 3rd September. A team of Canadian and British mountaineers plan to reach the summit of Mount Barbeau in Canada’s arctic by 3rd June and hold a tea party in celebration of the Jubilee. They will also send a congratulatory greeting to the Queen via satellite, which the monarch has promised to reply to.
A new Diamond Jubilee emblem has been unveiled, along with a silver proof dollar coin.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
A stamp exhibition of photographs of the Queen in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is being held at the National Public Library. A Queen’s Birthday Parade will take place, as well as a diamond Jubilee Beacon Event on 4th June.
The affection and respect that are expressed for the Queen across the Commonwealth is signified by the amount of special events throughout the Jubilee year.
Whether you are celebrating at home or away, enjoy the historic occasion in your own style, and create your own diamond memories to last a lifetime.
If you are travelling abroad during the Jubilee Festivities, or later on in the year, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you travel. Unexpected events can happen at any time, so be prepared and have the reassurance of insurance to allow you to enjoy yourself to the full without any nagging worries about what you would do should the worst happen. Shop around for a competitive quote that covers you and your individual requirements. You may choose single trip insurance, long stay travel insurance or one way insurance if you are emigrating.