Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for nearly 50 years. She ascended the throne when her Dad, King George VI popped his clogs on 6th February 1952 but wasn't crowned until 2nd June 1952. The slight delay was to get the Coronation party planned. This year will be no different. There are BIG PLANS for this year's Golden Jubilee.
As well as doing a whistlestop tour of the Commonwealth and buzzing up and down the country we can expect:-
• The lighting of at least 455 beacons – over four times as many as during the Silver Jubilee.
• 70 towns and cities taking part in Music Live Street Festivals organized by the BBC.
• Over 100 other confirmed public events in the searchable calendar on the Golden Jubilee Office website.
• A Toolkit containing practical advice is available to help people plan their local celebrations.
Now I've had a look at this toolkit. It's a hoot. In the 'decoration' section there are wonderful instructions as to how to make your own bunting and how to put it up. It even tells you how far to bang the poles into the ground with "your sledgehammer". Like we all have one of those lying around. Priceless.
It's yet to been seen whether the 'common folk' will embrace the occasion as they did on her 25th anniversary back in 1977. In fact the Silver Jubilee was such a big thing it even inspired a full-blown anti-Jubilee backlash spearheaded by the Sex Pistols. I remember going to a local street party back then. They were all the rage. A few punks turned up and spat at some of the children. Ah, memories.
One thing that may help us get into the party spirit is that we have all being given an extra day off to celebrate for Golden Jubilee. The usual second May Bank Holiday had been moved back a week to Monday 3rd June and an extra Bank Holiday on Tuesday 4th June added. So we'll have four days to 'part-Tay' : 1st - 4th June 2002. The tube will run all night on the Monday evening (in case you're wondering you can find out why it doesn't usually run a 24 hours service here). There's going to be a massive firework display planned for the late evening on the Monday and then a State Procession the following day.
Despite being vaguely republican at heart I think it'll be fun.