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70 years in 4 days: Britain plans long holiday weekend to honor queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II with Christmas decorations behind her
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle.
(Victoria Jones / Pool photo)

Britain will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne with a military parade, neighborhood parties and a competition to create a new dessert for the Platinum Jubilee, Buckingham Palace said Monday.

On Feb. 6, Elizabeth will become the first British monarch to reign for seven decades, and festivities marking the anniversary will culminate in a four-day holiday weekend of events June 2-5. It wasn’t immediately clear which events that the queen, 95, would take part in after doctors recently advised her to get more rest.

The long weekend, which includes an extra day of public holiday in honor of the queen, will begin Thursday, June 2, with Trooping the Color — the annual military parade that marks the queen’s official birthday.

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That will be followed on June 3 by a service of thanksgiving honoring the queen’s service to the United Kingdom, her other realms and the Commonwealth.

In a nod to coronation chicken — the concoction of cold chicken, curry powder, mayonnaise and other ingredients served at garden parties marking the queen’s formal ascent to the throne — the palace will sponsor the Platinum Pudding competition to create a new dessert dedicated to the monarch.

The competition will be open to British residents as young as 8 and will be judged by television cooking personalities Mary Berry and Monica Galetti, together with Buckingham Palace head chef Mark Flanagan. The winning recipe will be published ahead of the jubilee holiday weekend so that it can be part of the celebrations.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, was the undisputed master of the British royal household for more than seven decades.

About 1,400 people have already registered to host jubilee lunches June 5, with flagship events set to take place in London and at the Eden Project — a botanical garden-like center — in Cornwall. The palace expects there to be some 200,000 neighborhood events across the U.K.

The weekend will end with a pageant honoring the monarch’s service and looking ahead to the next 70 years. Dancers, musicians, military personnel and essential workers will “tell the story of the queen’s reign,” while children will create a picture of their hopes and aspirations for the planet, the palace said.


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