This is a big summer for London, specifically, and the UK as a whole. Of course, the Olympics will start properly in 56 days. (Honestly, I'm pretty thrilled to miss this because London will be a nightmare for weeks due to the logistics of the events plus the influx of tourists that the city is, frankly, still unprepared to handle.) This weekend, though, there's a celebration that's even closer to the hearts of Brits and Anglophiles everywhere: the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
I am very sad not to be in London for the Jubilee weekend, as it'll display the sort of enthusiastic and touching patriotism that, with the exception of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding last year, the United Kingdom rarely displays. The Queen, 86 this year, has been touring the country for months in celebration of her 60 years on the throne; the festivities come to London on Saturday for a full four days of merriment. (Monday and Tuesday of next week are bank holidays in recognition of this milestone.)
The most exciting part of the Diamond Jubilee weekend, I think, will be the spectacle of a flotilla of 1000 boats sailing down the Thames on Sunday. The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip and members of the royal family, will travel in a royal barge as a centerpiece of the pageant; everyone expects the scene to be like a Canaletto painting. Jon has managed to snag a prime spot from which to view the flotilla, and has promised to take pictures for us and write a guest post about the event.
If you're in London and you can't squeeze along the river to watch the festivities, don't worry - there's plenty still to do to fête the Queen! Neighborhoods up and down the country will gather on Sunday for the Big Jubilee Lunch, when communities will gather for traditional street parties and picnics.
Monday will feature a massive concert and the lighting of the National Beacon, and Tuesday includes a service at St. Paul's as well as a a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace and a balcony appearance, complete with flyby. It's going to be an amazing weekend, and I'm so jealous of all of you in the UK who get to take part in one way or another!
Here in the US, though, it's just a normal weekend - but that doesn't mean I can't celebrate with my own British tea party...
all via John Lewis
Let me know how you're going to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! I'd love to hear about your festivities, dear readers.
If you're in America but want to join in, check out your local listings for BBC America and CNN, which will both cover most of the weekend.