Here it is, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is going to be a long time before there's another jubilee. If ever (who knows if there will be a Monarchy by then?). I don't remember the silver Jubilee at all, although I was living in New Zealand then.
This time around I feel obliged to make a bit of something of a fuss about it all, for my son if nothing else. All that pageantry is the sort of thing kids just love. It is also an excuse for street parties. We're having one, although it is less for a chance to celebrate the Jubilee and more for an opportunity to shut the road and have it car free for the day. I can't wait - an opportunity for my son to play out front, just like I used to when I was a kid!
There's lots of things going on all over the country, and lots of ways to enjoy the Jubilee, and many of them without spending a penny. Let's just hope the weather holds, and we get to enjoy it outside as well!
The Jubilee Will Mostly Be Televised
There's lots of events planned over this four day weekend (woo hoo why can't they all be four days?) with the inevitable bias towards London and the South East. You don't have to be stuck indoors watching it on the telly though. Except you might want to if it is pouring with rain.
Much of the event, like the river pageant, is being televised, and the BBC is putting special big screens up all around the country. So you can go make a day of it, have a picnic, all without making the trek to the capital. For a list of locations of these big screens click here.
Join in the Big Lunch
Last year on Sunday 5th June the best part of two million people took part in The Big Lunch. In 2012 The Big Lunch is on the same weekend as The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations - specifically this Sunday 3rd June. In fact it is a part of the main programme of events over the central weekend of the Diamond Jubilee. A record number of people are expected to take part. Why not be one of them!
A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown street party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.
It isn't too late to organise your own. The website has a guide to having a 'last minute' Big Lunch. Click here for more information.
Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities across the UK and the best part of a million people get involved each year.
Go to the River Pageant
Perhaps the biggest of the events planned this weekend, the River Pageant on Sunday, is also free. If you're in London or nearby, then head towards the Thames. There's a map of viewing locations and large viewing screens here.
There's pedestrian paths along nearly the entire length of the river, so you should be able to find somewhere to go get a good look at the boats as they go past. If you want one of the prime spots, such as on a bridge, make sure you go early!
Go light a fire
On Monday, from 10pm, thousands of Jubilee Beacons will be lit all around the country. If it isn't too late for you and the family, it might be really atmospheric to attend one of the beacons. You'd really feel like a part of something much bigger!
For locations of the Jubilee Beacons and other information visit this site here.
Say a little prayer
Finally, wrapping the weekend up, is the service of thanksgiving and a carriage procession on the Tuesday. The service takes place at St Paul's cathedral in London and will be televised. Of particular interest is the Diamond Choir.
St Paul's Cathedral has been searched for young singers from all over the UK to form the Diamond Choir and sing for The Queen. The choir is made up of boys and girls aged 10 - 13 who sing regularly in a church, school or other youth choir. They will be performing a brand new choral work.
Afterwards, the Royal Family will travel from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace by carriage, along a processional route. Once back at the palace, the Royal family will appear on the balcony to finish the whole thing off with an RAF fly-past.
So what will you be doing this weekend? Some, all or none of the above?
TOPICS: News and Recalls