To hear about the Diamond Jubilee first listen to February 7th 2012.
Although Princess Elizabeth became Queen in February 1952, 60 years ago, she was crowned Queen on June 2nd 1953 at her coronation. This is the reason for the start of the main celebrations on June 2nd.
The first event was the Queen’s attendance at the Epsom races in southern England on Saturday. The Queen has always loved horse-racing. About 130,000 people attended the races on this special occasion.
Sunday is the Thames Pageant. This is an event where 1,000 boats headed by the Queen in a royal barge, sail 22km down the Thames River. Boats come from all over the Commonwealth and they include a waka paddled by 14 Maori.
Monday is the Diamond Jubilee concert in Buckingham Palace. It will be televised. The musician, Gary Barlow has travelled around Commonwealth countries to record choirs singing the Jubilee song, ‘Sing’. It was written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Many famous musicians will perform at the concert. They include Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney.
The final day of these celebrations is Tuesday when there is a service at St Paul’s Cathedral and a procession through parts of London. The Queen will travel in a carriage.
On Monday, 4000 beacons of light will be lit all around the Commonwealth. New Zealand will be the first country, beginning at 6am. There are 16 countries in the Commonwealth. The Queen has visited them all. She visited New Zealand nine times.
pageant – a colourful event for a special public occasion
barge – a boat with a flat bottom
sail down a river – move down the river by sail or paddles or motor
procession – a group of people or vehicles moving slowly along the road
beacons – lamps