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_ Britons dress up for Queen's Platinum Jubilee and prepare to mark her 70 years on the throne
_ Britons dress up for Queen's Platinum Jubilee and prepare to mark her 70 years on the throne
Enthusiastic Brits are already getting ready to celebrate
Schools and nurseries are full of excited children as parents dressed them up this morning for jubilee parties and celebrations, a whole 10 days before the scheduled 'Thank You' day on June 5, when 10 million people are expected to participate in celebrations.
But rather than limit the fun to the bank holidays, many
The Queen ascended to the throne on June 2 1953 and is the UK's longest reigning monarch - at the Jubilee celebrations next weekend she will have surpassed Queen Victoria's 64-year rule by more than six years.
Official celebrations will take place next weekend with two extra bank holidays featuring events such as the Queen's birthday parade, a Thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral and a Jubilee Pageant to be held through central London.
The Queen herself is expected to attend these events after an unfortunate spell of mobility problems left her unable to attend several royal engagements, including the opening of Parliament earlier this month.
So it's no wonder royal fans are struggling to contain their excitement as they get ready to pay tribute to the monarch in the most British way possible.
Schools up and down the country are opening up their doors to children for jubilee parties, taking a rare break away from the curriculum to mark the momentous occasion.
Many of these schools are holding their celebrations today - such as St Anthony's Catholic Primary School in Slough, where teachers have been helping children get ready by drawing union jacks on their skin with skin markers.
Meanwhile at Mapplewell Primary School in Mapplewell, north of Sheffield, children have been learning about the Queen and her role before making their own Queen Elizabeth II masks.
The school tweeted: 'We used our fine motor skills and scissor skills to create royal masks. We are ready for the Jubilee party tomorrow.'
And numerous proud parents have been sharing their children's outfits online, with the majority going for a red, white and blue theme.
But for particularly brave parents - or children! - the costuming goes much further by dressing up as the Queen herself, or adorning them with union jacks wherever they can.
And it's not just schools which are preparing. Iconic UK landmarks and businesses are getting their decorations up too as they capitalise on Britons' enthusiasm in the run up to official celebrations next weekend.
And work colleagues are already practicing their baking skills and getting their costumes and decorations ready.
A pod on the London Eye was specially transformed yesterday into a jubilee themed bar with dozens of photos of the royal family, Union Jack bunting and red, white and blue flowers.
The Tate Britain in London today unveiled more than 600m of colourful bunting which is draped around the building's columns and other building features.
The bunting has been decorated by both schoolchildren and Tate visitors and has been organised by the Together Coalition.
Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain, said: 'Art is something to be enjoyed by everyone - it can bring us together and give us the tools we need to express ourselves - so it’s great to see children’s creativity being placed at the heart of Thank You Day celebrations.
'Here at Tate Britain we are delighted to host some of the designs which have been made so far, and we look forward to adding even more over the coming week.'
Even pets are being pictured joining in the celebrations as owners are posting snaps of adorable UK-themed pet clothes and accessories, from bows to banners and scarves.
And for dog-lovers the fun doesn't stop there - the Royal Family has even released a brand new emoji in honour of the Queen's love of corgis especially for the Royal Jubilee.
Fittingly the corgi is named PJ and the palace expressed its wish that 'as many people as possible' get behind the emoji to celebrate the Queen's milestone online.
The main celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee will begin next week with an extra two days bank holiday for much of the nation.
It has been confirmed that Price Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will all play roles in the Jubilee celebrations.
But they will not feature in the prominent balcony appearance during the Trooping of the Colour, as only senior serving royals such as the Duke of Cambridge, Prince of Wales and Princess Anne are invited to this prestigious spot.
There are fears Prince Andrew's role in the celebrations in particular could distract from the Queen's incredible milestone, following criticism after the Prince supported his mother down the aisle during the royal family's recent memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh.
There are also some concerns over Her Majesty's health after episodic mobility problems have caused her to miss royal engagements and pull out of events at the last minute.
Around a month ago the palace told the public to expect the Queen to 'not attend most events' after she was pictured earlier this year using a walking cane to get around.
Over the past year she has withdrawn from several key events including the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph and the annual Commonwealth Service.
Two weeks ago she missed the state opening of Parliament due to health reasons, sending Prince Charles and Prince William to attend instead - but the palace seems hopeful such issues should not significantly affect the jubilee celebrations.
June 2 marks the official 70th anniversary of Her Majesty's reign and the beginning of the Platinum Jubilee weekend - the centrepiece of the day will be the Trooping the Colour and a special birthday parade for the Queen which thousands are expected to attend.
There will also be a ceremony called Lighting the Principal Beacon which will see members of the royal family arrive to watch the lighting of the principal beacon at the palace - a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture.
More than 3,000 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth in a show of solidarity with the monarch.
On Friday June 3 the royals will attend a Thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral to be followed by a Guildhall reception lunch hosted by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
With the arrival of the weekend comes a special race at Epsom for the Queen, who is known to love horses, and the BBC's Platinum Jubilee Party.
Expected to be a huge party on Saturday night (June 4), it will see huge stars such as Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and, of course Queen, perform live for the royal family and a live audience.
It will also be available to watch on TV.
Then the big weekend finishes with street parties across the UK and an all-singing, all-dancing pageant through central London.
The National Thank You Day, as it is being termed, will be marked by thousands of street parties on Sunday, June 5 to mark 70 years of service by the Queen.
The plan is backed by celebrities including TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh, The Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith and former EastEnder Ross Kemp.
Are you celebrating the Platinum Jubilee? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
How to throw a Jubilee party fit for a Queen! Luxury events planner who arranges parties for the Royal Family reveals the dos and don'ts of throwing the perfect street celebration
By Monica Greep for MailOnline
As Brits prepare to celebrate the
Liz Taylor, CEO at luxury events planners Taylor Lynn Corporation, has been lucky enough to meet the Her Majesty twice while attending two of her famed garden parties.
And she's no stranger to arranging parties by royal appointment, after being enlisted by palace officials to help arrange the Kensington Palace Winter White Ball Charity Fundraiser in 2013.
From ditching the Union Jack-themed bunting to lighting up your table using candles in the evening, Liz shared with FEMAIL the do's and don't of throwing the perfect Jubilee bash.
Her advice includes keeping dining simple with foods like wood-fired pizza or traditional fish and chips while warning never to skimp on the entertainment or forget to invite a neighbour.
Here, Liz shares her top advice on throwing a royal-approved party to mark Her Majesty's impressive 70-year reign...
DO: LIGHT UP YOUR TABLE WITH CANDLES
Think about evening lighting; particularly if you are planning an outdoor celebration. Creating a swathe of tiny overhead pea lights on a frame is a dynamic way to dress a dinner table.
Add a wealth of different sized candles with florals to the table in everything from China cups and teapots, to small bottles and jars.
Use storm lanterns with candles (LED are safest) to line pavements and pathways.
For bigger events, use a professional lighting company to add coloured garden and house lighting. It will really add to the atmosphere of the evening.
DON'T: USE RED, WHITE AND BLUE BUNTING
Don't opt for the red white and blue bunting! Be more original with your ideas. OK, you can include the colour but not the streamers and flags.
Garden flowers and candles displayed in an eclectic mix of red and blue bottles and glass holders will dress white table linens perfectly, and provide that patriotic touch to your tables.
You can set out a big, long table down the centre of the street or venue, but for me, it’s an uncomfortable and unsociable way to dine. There’s nothing wrong with 6 to 8-seater tables dotted around the street which offer more opportunity to mix and mingle.
And the colour theme can be woven into other aspects of the event too. A beautiful display of red, white and blue cupcakes, iced donuts or macaroon towers on a pretty cake table.
Try jelly shots glasses with the three colours layered evenly. Trays offering rows of colour themed cocktails.
And you could ask all guests to wear a coloured item of clothing to match. And since the weather will be gorgeous (we hope), try red, white and blue iced lollies (made with a shot of vodka for the adults) to be served in the sunshine.
DO: KEEP DINING SIMPLE
Keep dining simple. Catering could be street food stalls if you want that festival party feel. Wood-fired pizzas are a popular option. Traditional fish and chips served in cones.
Or go for a smorgasbord selection of foods served around the Commonwealth nations for something more diverse, but meaningful.
Planning a garden party reminiscent of those Her Majesty hosts? You can give each guest a luxury picnic hamper or bag, and their own personalised embroidered blanket to find a sunny spot.
Include miniature bottles of bubbly for each and some upmarket picnic treats such as individual patisserie, goats cheese tartlets, and cheeses. Don’t forget the scones and cream!
DON'T: SKIMP ON ENTERTAINMENT
The heart of the party will be entertainment, so don’t skimp here.
You can keep everything else really simple – ask guests to all bring a baked contribution and just create a simple afternoon tea.
But, add in live entertainment and you have a real party!
Continental party band. Tribute artist. Caricaturist and balloon artists for the kids. Country music duo. Or the great British madness of a one-man-band. Anything goes, just ensure that they are good and will play throughout the party.
DON'T: FORGET THE SOFT DRINKS
Whilst cracking open the bubbly and sipping beers chilled to arctic temperatures might suit many, let’s not forget those that don’t drink alcohol.
Don’t forget to provide some fabulous cocktails for them.
Ensuring mocktails taste good is vital, but the secret to truly up-styling mocktails is in the presentation.
And we’ve come a long way from the obligatory glace cherry and paper umbrella!
Present glasses on vintage bird cages. Add a little ‘flair’ into proceedings with a professional mixologist.
Dry ice is another sure-fire way to deliver with drama.
DO: REMEMBER SMALL DETAILS
Think about the smallest details. Creating a more luxury celebration is all about personalising and making elements individual.
It could be as simple as serving a delicious traditional roast dinner – but instead of great serving dishes – give everyone their own wooden boards (engraved with their names) layered with sliced meat, potatoes and Yorkshire puds.
Individual dishes of vegetables and miniature gravy jugs from which to serve themselves from. And for dessert, an individual platter of the Queen’s favourite lemon drizzle cake, chocolate cake and a Dubonnet Jelly Shots.
Plus add an individual gift to the table that could double as a place marker. A miniature bottle of English wine.
A platinum coloured tie with the guests initials embroidered.
And whilst this is no place for a commemorative mug, a crystal Champagne glass engraved with the guest’s name and jubilee dates would fit well.
DON'T: FORGET THE TELEVISED CELEBRATIONS
It will be easy to get carried away with the day, so don’t forget to provide an area where guests can watch the televised celebrations.
Either incorporate a giant screen into the day, and guests can watch together, or have a separate chill-out zone. Giant TVs and comfy sofas.
It will be important to plan entertainment and dining around the main events of the day, so familiarise yourself with the schedule in advance and have someone to keep an eye on timings. It will also double as a quieter space for those who prefer a more sedate day.
DO: NOTIFY YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Plan ahead and notify the neighbours, especially if your party is outdoors. Invite the immediate neighbours to attend and importantly, advise them when the music will be turned off. 10.30-11pm is usual.
The event is about bringing people together, so it’s not the time to alienate Number 22 because they didn’t send you a Christmas card!
I would also ensure you rally people to help any elderly or disabled neighbours attend the event.
Also, involve the neighbours in the party planning – allocate them all a job or something to bring along. It adds to the sense of ownership and community.
DON'T: SPREAD YOUR BUDGET TOO THIN
I always say it’s not what you spend, but how you spend it. Don’t try to spread your budget too thinly across the event. For example, if money is tight, keep things simple and focus the budget on one main element.
Catering can be as simple as a BBQ or afternoon tea, or you can go all our an make the food a real talking point with caterers offering wood-fired pizzas cooked to order, Asian curries and hot kebabs served in Jubilee branded paper bags.
Drinks can be a simple supermarket selection of local ales and wines, or you can invest in a bar flair team to blend cocktails and fuse drinks and entertainment. Table décor can be simple wooden tables with an eclectic mix of painted chairs (probably borrowed from the neighbours).
Or rented tables surrounded by platinum coloured chairs and dressed in white linens with blue glassware and red glass candle holders.
For me though, I would keep food and drink simple and invest your budget in the very best entertainment you can afford and a professional lighting and A-V company.
Why? I firmly believe that people will remember a great band, country duo or acoustic singer long after the party ends. They also help to build the party tempo and inject energy into the day.
As for lighting and AV – nothing is more important that remembering that we’re celebrating the Monarch on this day.
The worst case scenario – your TV goes on the blink just as the Queen appears on THAT balcony. A professional company will have a plan B and c to ensure – nobody misses that key moment.
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